Controlling the Tendency to Procrastinate
Have you ever felt that you should work on an assignment, and even wanted to get it out of the way, but could not get started? If so, you may have been a victim of procrastination— putting off tasks that need to be done. Although you know you should review your biology notes this evening, for instance, you procrastinate and do something else instead. Tedious, difficult, or uninteresting tasks are often those that we put off doing. It is often these very tasks, however, that are essential to success in college courses. The following suggestions can put you on track for success by helping you overcome or control a tendency to procrastinate.
Regardless of What You Do, Start! If you are having difficulty getting started, do something other than sit and stare, regardless of how trivial it may seem.
Recognize When You Need More Information Sometimes procrastination is a signal that you lack skills or information. You may be avoiding a task because you’re not sure how to do it. You may not really understand why a certain procedure is used to solve a particular type of math problem, for example, so you feel reluctant to do math homework. Similarly, selecting a topic for a term paper may be difficult if you aren’t certain of the paper’s purpose or expected length. Overcome such stumbling blocks by discussing them with classmates or with your professor.
Think Positively As you begin a task, it is easy to get discouraged by negative thoughts. A positive attitude will make the task more enjoyable so it moves along more quickly.