Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. Whenever we avoid doing something we dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as viewing television, spending time with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task. Given such a choice, it is not surprising that lots of 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 you should do about any of it
Now you know a bit about why you could have procrastinated in the past, let’s explore a few of the strategies you could used to combat your procrastination tendencies, now and in the near future.Be patient; improvement can come with practice.
Take a listing
Finding out exactly when and just how you procrastinate often helps you stop the behavior. It can be tough to tell when you’re procrastinating. Look at the clues that inform you that’s what you’re doing: for example, a voice that is nagging your mind, a visual image of what you are actually avoiding or the consequences of not doing it, physical ailments (stomach tightness, headaches, muscle tension), inability to focus, inability to take pleasure from what you are really doing.
How can you procrastinate?
- Attempt to ignore the task, hoping against hope so it will go away?
- Over- or under-estimate the degree of difficulty that the job involves?
- Minimize the impact that your performance now may have in your future?
- Substitute something necessary for something really important? (for instance, cleaning in place of writing your paper.)
- Let a short break become an extended one, or an evening where you do no work at all? (For example, claiming that you are going to watch TV for Ѕ hour, then watching it all night.)
- Concentrate on one part of the task, at the cost of the rest? (For example, keep taking care of the introduction, while putting off writing the body and conclusion).
- Spend too much time researching or choosing a topic
When you better understand how you procrastinate, you shall be better in a position to catch yourself doing it. Too often, we don’t even realize it’s too late that we are procrastinating—until.
Create a productive environment
If you have made a decision to stop delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical which you find a place to operate for which you have at the very least half a chance of actually getting some writing done. Your dorm room might not be the accepted place where you are most productive. Ditto the pc lab. When you have a laptop computer, try going someplace for which you can’t connect to the Internet (e-mail therefore the Web are the bane regarding the procrastinator’s existence—as you almost certainly already fully know). Then chances are you write my paper for me are already pretty exasperated; don’t risk frustrating yourself even more by trying to write in an environment that doesn’t meet your needs if you are a procrastinator.
CAUTION: probably the most skilled procrastinators will likely be tempted to take this suggestion past an acceptable limit, spending an inordinate amount of time “creating a productive environment” (cleaning, filing, etc.) and not nearly the full time actually writing. Don’t fall into that trap! While cleaning and filing are indeed worthy and necessary activities, in the event that you only repeat this if you have an approaching writing deadline, then you are procrastinating.
When you are thinking about where you should write, consider also when you will write. When have you been most alert? Could it be at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late through the night? Attempt to schedule time that is writing you realize you’ll be at your very best. Don’t concern yourself with when you “should” have the ability to write; just give attention to if you’re able to write.
Challenge your myths
So that you can break the procrastination habit, we have to get past the theory that in order to write, we should have got all the information related to the topic, so we must have optimal writing conditions. The truth is, writers never have all of the given information, and conditions should never be optimal.
Think about a writing project that you are currently putting off. On one side of an item of paper, all write down the reasons behind your delay. On the reverse side, argue (as convincingly as you possibly can!) contrary to the delay.
Break it down
Your day you get the paper assignment (ideally), or shortly thereafter, break the writing assignment up into the smallest possible chunks. This way, the paper never has an opportunity to take on gargantuan proportions in your head. You can easily say to yourself, “Right now, I’m going to publish the introduction. That’s all, simply the introduction!” And you may be more prone to take a seat and accomplish that, than you will to stay down and “write the paper.”
Get a new attitude
We shoot ourselves into the foot, to start with, by telling ourselves how horrible a particular writing assignment is. Changing our attitude toward the task, when possible, might go a way that is long keeping us from procrastinating. Tell yourself that the task is not so bad or difficult, which you can learn how while you’re doing it that you either know how to do it, or. You might find, too, that if you start in the beginning a specific assignment, your attitude never has an opportunity to get very negative when you look at the place that is first! 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 have them to help you determine whether or not your plan is realistic. A few times a week, email with a buddy, relative, or mentor, to be able to report (admit?) in your progress, and declare your promise for the in a few days (or couple of days). If, despite your very good intentions, you begin procrastinating again, do not think, “All is lost!” Instead, talk to someone about any of it. They may manage to allow you to place your slip into perspective and obtain back on course.
- Get a pal. See when you can find a friend to operate alongside you. They don’t have to be writing a paper; in reality, they could be Solitaire that is playing whatever you care. What matters 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 should be procrastinating since you think you will be a weak writer, then ask someone (a Writing Center writing coach, a present or former professor or teaching assistant, a friend) to help you improve.
- Form a group that is writing. A writing group is a great way for|way that is great undergraduate and much more advanced writers alike to create accountability, get feedback, and just get reminded that you will be not the only one into the find it difficult to produce also to enhance your writing. See our writing group packet at for more information on how exactly to form and sustain a writing group. Dissertation writers may benefit not just from joining a writing group but also from reading our handout in the dissertation. This handout was written by a former Writing Center staff member who eventually completed her dissertation.