Procrastination: How to Stop

By Kat Polk

Everyone procrastinates–it’s inevitable, but have you ever wondered how to stop? What’s so bad about procrastination, anyways? As long as whatever you’re putting off gets done before the deadline arrives it’s okay, isn’t it?

Wrong. Procrastination can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress, especially as the deadline approaches. Don’t you just love that feeling once you’ve finally completed your assignments and you’re free to do whatever you please? How can you obtain this freedom from the stress and anxiety that procrastination traps us in? Just follow these three easy steps.

Step one: Get rid of distractions.

Distractions can cause you to lose focus and end up doing something that isn’t productive. Distractions are procrastination’s traps. They can be anything, such as your television, siblings, hunger, and your phone.

To help get rid of distractions, set up a nice study area where there is no loud noises. Put a sign on the door that says something along the lines of “Do not disturb” to prevent siblings from bothering you. Make sure that you have everything you need for your homework before you sit down: pens, pencils, snacks, water, and whatever else you may need. This way you don’t have to get up and stop working.

If you tend to get distracted by your cell phone, you’re like most of us. There are many apps that will help prevent this issue. These types of apps can block you from using your phone, unless it’s an emergency. Downloading one of these apps can save you from distractions, and send you on your way to complete that assignment.

Step two: Getting started

This one is kind of obvious, but it’s incredibly important. Once you start a project or assignment, the hardest part is over. One good way to get started is to find some sort of motivation. Why are you doing the assignment in the first place? Is it the good feeling you get while handing in a completed assignment, the rewarding experience you get when your assignment is handed back with a good grade, or the look on your parents’ faces when you bring home a report card with straight A’s?

It can be hard to get started when you feel like there is something you would rather be doing. Once you find your motivation, however, it will be easier for you to start working.

Step three: Take breaks

Now, this step may seem a little bit counter intuitive, but it is important to take breaks. Your brain needs to rest sometimes. Once you have been working for around 30 minutes, set a timer for ten minutes. Use this time to take a short walk, grab some food, or whatever floats your boat.

It’s easier to tackle tasks if you take it one step at a time. Reward yourself once you complete a portion of your project. By doing this you, give yourself a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Just make sure you get right back to work once your ten minutes is up. Trust us, taking short breaks can be a huge game changer.

After completing these steps, you will be well on your way to freedom from procrastination. Remember to keep an organized to-do list so that you don’t forget anything. Prioritize your tasks and do the most important tasks first, working your way down the list. You’ll find if you look at only one task at a time, you’ll manage to get everything done and be set free from all the anxiety and stress that procrastination causes.