What you can do

Be aware

Reflect on your reasons, habits and thoughts that lead to procrastination.

Change your outlook

Alter your perspective. Break a big task into smaller steps helps it seem less intimidating. Look for what’s appealing or what you want to get out of an assignment beyond just the grade.

Commit

If you feel stuck, start simply by committing to complete a small task and write it down. Finish it and reward yourself. Only write down tasks you can completely commit to on your to-do list. Once you write them down, follow through no matter what. By doing so you will rebuild trust in yourself that you will do what you say you will.

Change your surroundings

When doing school work, choose wisely where and with whom you are working. "Studying" in your bed, at a café or with friends, where you don't get much work done, can be a kind of procrastination.

Focus on goals

Focus on what you want to do, not what you want to avoid. Think about the productive reasons for doing a task by setting positive, concrete and meaningful goals for yourself.

Be realistic

Achieving goals and changing habits takes time and effort. Don’t sabotage yourself by having unrealistic expectations that you cannot reasonably meet.

Self-talk

Notice how you are thinking and talking to yourself. Talk to yourself in ways that remind you of your goals and replace old, counterproductive habits of self-talk. Instead of saying, “I wish I hadn’t”, say, “I will.”

Un-schedule

If you feel really stuck, you probably won’t use a schedule that is a constant reminder of all that you have to do. If your attempts to make a schedule have not worked, make an unstructured, flexible schedule in which you slot in only what is necessary. Keep track of all the time you spend working toward your goals, tally it up and reward yourself for it. This can help increase satisfaction in what you get done.

Break down big tasks

Breaking big tasks down into little steps is a good approach. A variation on this is devoting short chunks of time to a big task and doing as much as you can in that time with few expectations about what you will get done. After doing this several times on a big task, you will have made some progress on it and you’ll have less work to do to complete the task.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you be aware of the damaging thoughts in your head and help you make the choice to let them go. 

Try these options to manage procrastination

Support online

Reach Out have some further information about ways that you can combat procrastination.

Apps that help

To learn techniques to help you sleep better, focus more and get some relief from a busy mind, try Headspace or Smiling Mind.