How to Avoid Procrastination

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You are not a procrastinator, You have a habit of procrastination.”

        -Mel Robbins author of The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

Procrastination can be described as a method of avoidance. You may be avoiding a task because it seems too difficult or too boring, you do not know where to start, or you want to do it perfectly and feel inadequate. Eliminating distractions and simply starting are helpful ways to accomplish your task and defeat procrastination. 


Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. From nearby conversations to phone notifications to hunger and boredom, distractions can easily creep into your environment. Do your best to eliminate or at least minimize these distractions. Turn your phone on do not disturb and put it away, grab a snack, put on headphones and a playlist that helps you focus, or whatever it is you need to block out interruptions. You may want to try the app Forest which simulates a tree being planted and growing during the time you do not use your phone. If you are successfully able to not use your phone for 30 minutes, you will have planted a tree. If you pick up the phone during the 30 minutes, the tree will die. You can also use website blockers such as Freedom to prevent you from going to distracting websites while you should be focusing.

Getting Started

Starting can be the hardest part of the studying process. Spend 10 minutes making a plan for your time. This could include gathering supplies such as pens, notebooks, and textbooks or cleaning your workspace. Then write a list of what you plan to accomplish during your focused study time. For example, a concept that you hope to master or a homework assignment you will work to complete. 

Daily Goal Setting

Identify 1-3 goals for what you plan to accomplish that day. In doing so, you will have a clear objective in your mind and be able to evaluate your success at the end of the day. If you are struggling with perfectionism, try writing something for 10 minutes giving yourself permission to edit. Knowing that what you are writing is not the final product, can sometimes alleviate that pressure that comes with doing it perfectly the first time.