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Control Procrastination

What are some quick and easy things I can do to stop procrastinating?

  • See below for some quick, temporary solutions to reducing procrastination.
  • Some solutions may or may not work for you -- try several out and adapt them to help you in your particular circumstances.

How can I reduce procrastinating caused by my phone or laptop?

  • Use an app to block or limit the time you spend on specific websites. There are many available apps; search Google for "procrastination blockers."
  • If you spend a lot of time texting, set aside specific times each day to check and respond to texts. Tell your friends and family to expect delays in your responses. 
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone and laptop.
  • Create a "sticky note" that opens every time you turn on your laptop to remind you to study.
  • Set a timer to remind you when it's time to get back to work.

How can I reduce procrastinating caused by online or in-person socializing?

  • Set a timer to limit how long you spend texting or talking to friends during study breaks.
  • Get a "Do Not Disturb" sign for your door and ask your family members or housemates to respect it.
  • Talk to friends and family about your struggles with procrastination and get their support to help you limit the time spent socializing.

How can I reduce procrastinating caused by cooking, eating, or doing housework?

  • Post a list of your study goals for the day on your fridge or microwave.
  • Post your tuition receipt on the fridge.
  • Post a note telling yourself to get back to work NOW.
  • Use the timer on your phone to limit the length of breaks or meals.
  • Put signs and notes to yourself about studying on your vaccuum cleaner, the dishwasher, or wherever they will be noticeable.
  • Schedule housework for a time when you wouldn't normally be studying.

What if none of these strategies work?

  • Sit at your desk and do absolutely nothing. Don't talk, read, or straighten things – just sit still and do nothing until you find the motivation to begin working on the task
  • By making your procrastination obvious, you'll be much more likely to get down to work than if you camouflage it by doing something else, particularly something else that feels productive.

How can I reduce procrastination caused by reading?

  • Don't read for pleasure in your study locations.
  • Don't bring pleasure books with you to class or to the Library.
  • Make a bookmark that says "You're procrastinating" and keep it in your line of site while reading to procrastinate.
  • Ask a roommate to hide pleasure books until your work is done.

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