Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. Whenever we avoid doing something we dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task. Given such an option, it is not surprising that numerous of us elect to procrastinate. We feel all the more compelled to procrastinate next time around when we write a paper at the last minute and still manage to get a good grade.
What to do about it
Now that you know a bit about why you’ve probably procrastinated in the past, let’s explore a few of the strategies you could used to combat your procrastination tendencies, now and in the long run.Be patient; improvement can come with repetition.
Take an inventory
Figuring out exactly when and exactly how you procrastinate might help the behavior is taken by you. It could be tough to tell if you are procrastinating. Consider the clues that inform you that’s what you’re doing: for example, a voice that is nagging your face, a visual image of what you are avoiding or even the consequences of not doing it, physical ailments (stomach tightness, headaches, muscle tension), inability to focus, inability to enjoy what you yourself are doing.
How will you procrastinate?
- You will need to disregard the task, hoping against hope that it will go away?
- Over- or under-estimate their education of difficulty that the job involves?
- Minimize the impact that the performance now could have in your future?
- Substitute something essential for something really important? (For example, cleaning instead of writing your paper.)
- Let a short break become a lengthy one, or an evening in which you do no work on all? (For example, claiming that you will be likely to watch TV for Ѕ hour, then watching it through the night.)
- Give attention to one area of the task, at the cost of the remainder? (For example, keep working on the introduction, while putting off writing the body and conclusion).
- Spend too much effort researching or choosing an interest
As soon as you better understand how you procrastinate, you shall be much better able to catch yourself doing it. Too often, we don’t even realize that we have been procrastinating—until it’s too late.
Create a environment that is productive
That you find a place to work where you have at least half a chance of actually getting some writing done if you have made the decision to stop delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical. Your dorm room may possibly not be the place what your location is most productive. Ditto the computer lab. For those who have a laptop computer, try going someplace for which you can’t connect to the online world (e-mail and also the Web would be the bane of the procrastinator’s existence—as you most likely already know just). If you are a procrastinator, then chances are you are generally pretty exasperated; don’t risk frustrating yourself a lot more by attempting to write in an environment that doesn’t meet your needs.
CAUTION: probably the most skilled procrastinators may be lured to take this suggestion past an acceptable limit, spending an inordinate length of time “creating a environment that is productive (cleaning, filing, etc.) rather than nearly the time actually writing. Don’t end up in that trap! While cleaning and filing are indeed worthy and necessary activities, then you are procrastinating if you only do this when you have an approaching writing deadline.
You will write while you are thinking about where to write, consider also when. When are you currently most alert? Is it at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late at night? Attempt to schedule time that is writing you realize you will end up at your best. Don’t worry about when you “should” have the ability to write; just focus on if you’re in a position to write.
Challenge your myths
In order to break the procrastination habit, we must get past the theory that so that you can write, we must have all hire someone to do my homework the data related to the subject, and then we must have writing that is optimal. The truth is, writers not have all the information, and conditions are never optimal.
Think of a writing project you are currently putting off. On a single side of a bit of paper, write down all the reasons behind your delay. On the other hand, argue (as convincingly as you can!) up against the delay.
Break it down
The day you can get the paper assignment (ideally), or shortly thereafter, break the writing assignment up in to the smallest chunks that are possible. Using this method, the paper never has to be able to take on gargantuan proportions in your head. You can say to yourself, “Right now, I’m going to write the introduction. That’s all, simply the introduction!” And you may be more expected to take a seat and do that, than you shall to sit down and “write the paper.”
Get a attitude that is new
We shoot ourselves in the foot, to start with, by telling ourselves how horrible a particular writing assignment is. Changing our attitude toward the task, whenever possible, might go a long way toward keeping us from procrastinating. Tell yourself that the job isn’t so bad or difficult, that you can learn how while you’re doing it that you either know how to do it, or. You may find, too, that in the event that you start early on a particular assignment, your attitude never has to be able to get very negative in the first place! Simply needs to write can often help us feel more positive about writing.
Ask for help
- Get an coach that is anti-procrastination. Then get help from the supportive people in your life if you are really determined not to procrastinate. Tell someone regarding the writing goal and timeline, and ask them to help you determine whether or otherwise not your plan is realistic. A few times per week, email with a friend, relative, or mentor, so that you can report (admit?) on the progress, and declare your promise for the week that is nextor few days). If, despite your very intentions that are good you begin procrastinating again, try not to think, “All is lost!” Instead, talk to someone about any of it. They might manage to allow you to put your slip into perspective and get back on the right track.
- Get a pal. See if you’re able to find a close friend to exert effort alongside you. They don’t have to be writing a paper; in reality, they can be playing Solitaire, for all that you care. What counts is at the library (or wherever you have decided to write) at a particular time and stay there for a specific period of time, thus creating accountability that you arrange to meet them.
- Get help with your writing. If you’re procrastinating since you think you are a weak writer, then ask someone (a Writing Center writing coach, a current or former professor or teaching assistant, a friend) to help you improve.
- Form a group that is writing. A writing group is a good way for|way that is great undergraduate and much more advanced writers alike to generate accountability, get feedback, and just get reminded that you are not by yourself into the find it difficult to produce and to improve your writing. See our writing group packet at for more information on how to form and sustain a writing group. Dissertation writers may benefit not merely from joining a writing group but also from reading our handout in the dissertation. This handout was authored by a former Writing Center staff member who eventually completed her dissertation.