Overpowering College Student Procrastination
Are you a "victim" of college student procrastination?
Everyone has been there, college student or not. Let's face it, getting started is difficult. Mark Twain once said:
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
It is funny to think about, but the effects of procrastination can be devastating, especially as a semester comes to an end!
Not to worry though, procrastination can be overcome...and it can be done today.
What Causes College Student Procrastination?
This is a good question to ask yourself. Get a pen and a paper.
On the paper, start writing every reason you have for procrastinating. Don't take too long though. Otherwise, you are procrastinating more!
When I thought of the reasons that I don't want to do something, I thought of four things. I would bet that all of your reasons fit into one of these four "categories" as well.
Lack of Commitment
My heart isn't in it. When I'm procrastinating, this is probably the number one reason. I just don't see the purpose or the end goal. I am not committed to doing something.
How many of your reasons fit into this category?
Lack of Focus
This ties directly into lack of commitment. College student procrastination comes when I am lazy and would rather be doing something else.
When I look back, though, I find that it was simply my lack of focus. My lack of doing something. Procrastination is the art of putting off getting started.
Finding your focus, knowing why and for what purpose you're doing something, is vital to overcoming procrastination.
Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation to get going comes because of a weak purpose. You may not be in a major you like. You may not be in a class you like. I've been there.
If you are in a class you don't like, just remember that it is only for this semester. It will all change in a couple of months. Next semester you can register for more compelling classes.
If you are in a major you don't like, then figure out what you want to do and change it! Figure out what you want to do by talking with a career counselor and find out which degree is right for you.
Fear of Difficulty
Perhaps your college student procrastination is fueled by your fear of doing difficult things. Sometimes a college paper or project can seem daunting.
Everyone has felt this kind of uneasiness before. It is a common reason for procrastination, but must be overcome with action.
Steps To Overpowering Procrastination
Step 1: Take 100% Responsibility
Jack Canfield, the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series writes about this in another book of his called The Success Principles.
You are totally responsible for the choices that you make. Start facing that. Nearly everything that happens to you is because you let it. In life, school, work, and wherever you go you have a choice.
You get the privilege of making choices for yourself. However, you don't get to choose the consequences. Making the choice to get started early on an assignment will most likely bring good consequences.
Starting the night before an assignment is due will most likely bring bad consequences (we've all done that one).
Whatever the consequence, you must own up to it. It was your choice, not your teacher's, to cram for the test, wait to write the paper, or not complete your homework.
This idea of 100% responsibility will take some honesty, but it is crucial to overpowering college student procrastination.
Step 2: Find Your Motivation
Where do you want to be in 5 years? In 10 years? What kind of grades do you want to have this semester? Where do you want your GPA to be? What kind of job do you want?
What are you doing in college? What is your eventual use of what you are learning in college? Each student will be different and have his or her own reasons. You must find and know yours!
Answers to these questions lead you to an essential driving force. It is a passion for your schooling, your eventual career, or another worthy future goal. It must be something you WANT. This is the key to overpowering procrastination.
It is this lack of motivation that causes procrastination. Having this motivation moves you to action!
Step 3: Set Goals & Make Plans
Based upon what your ambitions for the next 10 years of your life are, make goals for yourself. A good place to start is with the semester at hand.
Have weekly study and homework goals. A goal must be specific, doable, and have a due date. You can also make monthly and yearly goals of things that you want to do on a personal level.
Next, make plans to achieve these goals. Get a planner and write your goals in it. Then, decide when, based upon the due dates you set for yourself, you are going to complete each goal.
Review these plans often. See our page on student time management for more information.
Step 4: Start It Now
This is where college student procrastination comes to an end! This is where your plans take action.
Start early! Start by doing something right now, today! Ending procrastination must be a personal choice. You must consciously keep yourself working your plan and keeping on track.
Start with something easy. Just starting will get momentum moving in your favor. Let your motivation and your goals be that driving force that moves you to action!
Then you will truly be able to overpower college student procrastination and bring you lasting success as a college student!