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Dealing With Procrastination

Dealing With Procrastination

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Published by: nonamebrand on Oct 27, 2012
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Ryerson University

Learning Success Centre Dealing with Procrastination

Procrastination is an uncomfortable feeling that drives you away from doing something you have planned to do. You may procrastinate because the task you are supposed to do triggers some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings such as • • • • confusion boredom a sense of being overwhelmed fear of failure

Use the following strategies to help you overcome these negative emotions. Confused? If you are confused about the assignment, go over the assignment sheet carefully and, if you have any questions, ask the instructor for clarification. Be sure you know exactly what’s expected of you. Bored? Some people falsely believe that they have to be in the mood before they can start a project. If you think this way, disabuse yourself of the notion. 1. Consider the consequences. One strategy is to think of the consequence of not doing the work. Tell yourself, “I don’t feel like doing this work, but I’ll lose marks if I don’t get the assignment in on time. If I don’t hand it in at all, I’ll fail the assignment, and possibly the course.” The thought of having to spend time and money to repeat the course should prove very inspirational. 2. Try the 5 minute approach. Another strategy is to tell yourself that you will do just five minutes of the task. You know you can “suffer through” for that short a time. Start with something significant and concrete, which doesn’t mean starting on the easiest part. If you do something small but significant, you’ll have an immediate success. At the end of five minutes, you can decide whether you want to continue. You might find that your sense of accomplishment at getting started will carry you through the rest of the task.

‘Rithmetic If you are working through a chapter in your math text. and I don’t want to be a loser I have to excel at everything I do anything less than perfect is no good at all If you’ve caught yourself having such thoughts. First stop what you are doing and take a short break. Give yourself a small reward as you complete each step. work on a different part of the assignment. 1. and recite the answer from memory. 3. Perfectionists set too high expectations for themselves because they tend to believe that • • • • if I can’t do something right. more manageable chunks of work. editing and revising.Overwhelmed? If you feel overwhelmed. For each section. Try a more realistic approach. After the break. break the task into smaller. stop. there’s no point in doing it at all only losers fail at tasks. Below are some strategies for dividing common academic tasks into subtasks. and proofreading. make notes.” There will be times when you have been working on a subtask and just can’t go on with that specific effort. complete the exercises in one section to make sure you understand the concepts before moving on to the next section. . organizing and drafting. preferably by doing something active. Afraid of failure? You may procrastinate because you are afraid of or anxious about the task. break the task into the following steps: generating ideas through research. if you have to read a long textbook chapter. Writing If you have to do a major project like a research paper. you can still do something else related to the bigger project. accept that there are limits to your “endurance. if you have been writing a draft of an essay. You have changed the specific activity. create one or two questions from the heading. Reading For example. However. but you remain focussed on the overall task. One cause of fear and anxiety is perfectionism. 2. break it into sections. change to writing the entries for the list of Works Cited/References. which is closely related to fear of failing. read to find the answer. As well. For example.

Think • • My work doesn’t have to be perfect. Doing poorly or even failing at one task doesn’t mean I’m a failure at everything. but I will do the best I can with the time and resources available. And then get going! . the sooner you start. So if any of these negative emotions are standing in the way of your getting your work done. Remember that the longest journey begins with one step and that. There are things I’m good at. I’ll try my best on this assignment and learn from any mistakes I make. the closer you’ll be to finishing. takes steps to deal with them.

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