Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. Once we avoid doing something we dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as for instance watching television, hanging out with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task. Given such an option, it is no wonder that many of us decide to procrastinate. When we write a paper at the last minute but still are able to get a good grade, we feel much more compelled to procrastinate the next occasion around.
What you should do about this
Now you may have procrastinated in the past, let’s explore some of the strategies you might use to combat your procrastination tendencies, now and in the future.Be patient; improvement will come with practice that you know a little bit about why.
Take a listing
Figuring out exactly when and how you procrastinate can really help the behavior is taken by you. It can be hard to tell if you’re procrastinating. Consider the clues that tell you that is what you’re doing: for instance, a nagging voice in the head, a visual image of what you are avoiding or the consequences of not carrying it out, physical ailments (stomach tightness, headaches, muscle tension), inability to concentrate, inability to take pleasure from what you yourself are doing.
How will you procrastinate?
- Make an effort to disregard the task, hoping against hope so it shall go away?
- Over- or under-estimate the degree of difficulty that the duty involves?
- Minimize the impact that your particular performance now might have on your own future?
- Substitute something essential for something really important? (For example, cleaning as opposed to writing your paper.)
- Let a brief break become a long one, or a night where you do no work at all? (For example, claiming that you’re planning to watch TV for Ѕ hour, then watching it all night.)
- Focus on one the main task, at the cost of the others? (as an example, keep taking care of the introduction, while putting off writing the body and conclusion).
- Spend too much time researching or choosing a subject
As soon as you better understand how you procrastinate, you will be much better in a position to catch yourself carrying it out. Many times, we don’t even realize that we are procrastinating—until it’s too late.
Create a productive environment
If you have made a decision to avoid delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical which you find a spot to the office where you have at least half an opportunity of actually getting some writing done. Your dorm room may not be the place where you stand most productive. Ditto the pc lab. When you have a laptop computer, try going someplace for which you can’t hook up to the online world (e-mail and also the Web will be the bane regarding the procrastinator’s existence—as you most likely already know). Then chances are you are already pretty exasperated; don’t risk frustrating yourself even more by trying to write in an environment that doesn’t meet your needs if you are a procrastinator.
CAUTION: The most skilled procrastinators is going to be lured to take this suggestion too far, spending an inordinate length of time “creating a productive environment” (cleaning, filing, etc.) rather than nearly the full time actually writing. Don’t belong to that trap! While cleaning and filing are indeed worthy and necessary activities, then you are procrastinating if you only do this when you have an approaching writing deadline.
While you’re thinking about locations to write, consider also whenever you will write. When will you be most alert? Is it at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late through the night? Make an effort to schedule time that is writing you realize you are at your absolute best. Don’t be concerned about when you “should” have the ability to write; just give attention to when you’re in a position to write.
Challenge your myths
In order to break the procrastination habit, we must see through the theory that in order to write, we should have all the data related to the subject, and we also will need to have writing that is optimal. The truth is, writers not have all the given information, and conditions will never be optimal.
Think about a writing project that you will be currently putting off. On one side of a bit of paper, all write down the reasons for your delay. On the reverse side, argue (as convincingly as possible!) against the delay.
Break it down
Your day you get the paper assignment (ideally), or shortly thereafter, break the writing assignment up in to the smallest possible chunks. This way, the paper never has an opportunity to take on gargantuan proportions in your head. You can easily say to yourself, “Right now, I’m going to publish the introduction. That’s all, just the introduction!” And you may be more expected to sit down and do this, than you will to sit down and “write the paper.”
Get a new attitude
We shoot ourselves when you look at the foot, to start with, by telling ourselves how horrible a particular writing assignment is. Changing our attitude toward the job, whenever site right there possible, may go a long way toward keeping us from procrastinating. Tell yourself that the job is not so bad or difficult, that you can learn how while you’re doing it that you either know how to do it, or. You will probably find, too, that in the event that you start in the beginning a particular assignment, your attitude never has to be able to get very negative when you look at the place that is first! Simply just starting to write can often help us feel more positive about writing.
Ask for help
- Get an coach that is anti-procrastination. If you should be really determined not to ever procrastinate, then get assistance from the supportive people that you experienced. Tell someone about your writing goal and timeline, and get them to help you see whether or not your plan is realistic. Once or twice a week, email with a buddy, relative, or mentor, to be able to report (admit?) on your progress, and declare your promise for the in a few days (or couple of days). If, despite your very intentions that are good you begin procrastinating again, usually do not think, “All is lost!” Instead, keep in touch with someone about it. They may manage to assist you to place your slip into perspective and get back on track.
- Get a buddy. See whenever you can find a close friend to exert effort alongside you. They don’t have to be writing a paper; in reality, they can be playing Solitaire, for all you care. What truly matters is that you arrange to meet up with them in the library (or wherever you have decided to write) at a certain some time stay there for a particular time period, thus creating accountability.
- Get help with your writing. Then ask someone (a Writing Center writing coach, a current or former professor or teaching assistant, a friend) to help you improve if you are procrastinating because you think you are a weak writer.
- Form a writing group. A writing group is a great way for|way that is great undergraduate and more advanced writers alike to create accountability, get feedback, and just get reminded that you will be one of many when you look at the find it difficult to produce also to boost your writing. See our writing group packet at to learn more about simple tips to form and sustain a writing group. Dissertation writers may benefit not just from joining a writing group but additionally from reading our handout from the dissertation. This handout was written by a former Writing Center staff member who eventually completed her dissertation.