Stop Procrastinating! 5 Tips
It’s so easy to procrastinate in online courses, right? Starting an assignment the same day it’s due or posting to discussion threads exactly when it’s due is a quick way to fail a class, stress out, or not learn a thing.
Procrastinating is a natural way to put things off that we expect will be unpleasant or boring. Stop procrastinating right now! Make a choice to work on your procrastination tendencies. Essentially, you want to procrastinate your procrastination!
5 Tips to Stop Procrastinating
1. Determine WHY you Procrastinate: Think about why you procrastinate. Do you procrastinate because you:
- Don’t know how/where to begin?
- Feel overwhelmed?
- Fear failure?
- Seek perfectionism?
- Prefer to do other things with your time?
Getting an idea of why you procrastinate can help you target specific behaviors/habits you need to adjust or change completely.
2. Keep your End Goal in Mind: Think about why you are taking online classes. What’s your intention behind taking classes? Is it to provide for your family? Finish college? Get a better job?
- Determine the why: why are you taking online classes?
- Write it on a post-it note
- Put it on your bathroom mirror
Remind yourself of your goals daily. Use your goal to help you stay on track and not put things off to the last minute.
3. Don’t Overextend Yourself: Think about your current schedule and commitments for the next two weeks. Is it humanly possible to meet all of your obligations? Online work takes time & commitment. Adjust your schedule and remove obligations you don’t absolutely have to do to give you more time for school.
Remember you won’t be taking classes for the rest of your life. Make a few sacrifices now to achieve your goals. It’s okay to:
- Work out 3 times a week instead of 5
- Hang out with friends twice a month instead of six
- Cook dinner for your family 4 nights a week instead of 7
4. Stop Avoiding Tasks: There are many different tasks involved in online learning. These tasks can seem daunting and tedious. Stop avoiding them by using an approach that will make them appear simple and much easier:
- Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete
- Take one task and break it down into steps; do this for each task
- Create a consistent, weekly plan that describes what day/time you will complete each of the steps in the tasks
5. Use Time Management Techniques: There are several time management strategies to use that can help you stop procrastinating, from weekly to-do lists to day planners. Don’t try doing them all at once! Pick one technique from the list below and try it for 1 week. If it’s helpful, stick with it and if it’s not, try something else. Save time by using the templates on the WeBoard.
- Weekly Planner
- Daily To-Do List
- Rewards: Participate in activities you enjoy only after you complete your school tasks for the day or week
- Prioritize: Every morning (or at the start of each week), make a list of everything you need/want to do. Number each item by priority, with 1 being a high priority and 10 being a low one. Prioritize the things (i.e., school) you need to do and start with those items first
Find ready-to-use time management templates on the WeBoard resource page. When making lists, cross things off as you complete them. It will help you feel good and a sense of accomplishment.
What are some things you’ve done to keep you from procrastinating? Share your ideas below!