Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. We dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task when we avoid doing something. Given such an option, it is not surprising that lots of of us choose to procrastinate. Whenever we write a paper at the last second but still manage to obtain a good grade, we feel even more compelled to procrastinate the next time around.
What to do about any of it
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
Finding out exactly when and how you procrastinate can help you stop the behavior. It may be tough to tell while you are procrastinating. Take into account the clues that tell you that’s what you’re doing: as an example, a voice that is nagging your face, a visual image of what you’re avoiding or perhaps the consequences of not carrying it out, physical ailments (stomach tightness, headaches, muscle tension), inability to focus, inability to take pleasure from what you are really doing.
How can you procrastinate?
- Try to disregard the task, hoping against hope so it shall go away?
- Over- or under-estimate the degree of difficulty that the job involves?
- Minimize the impact that the performance now might have in your future?
- Substitute something essential for something really important? (For example, cleaning in the place of writing your paper.)
- Let a brief break become an extended one, or an evening where you do no work on all? (For example, claiming it all night. you are likely to watch TV for Ѕ hour, then watching)
- Concentrate on one the main task, at the cost of the others? (for instance, keep taking care of the introduction, while putting off writing your body and conclusion).
- Spend time that is too much or choosing a topic
Once you better understand how you procrastinate, you shall be better in a position to catch yourself carrying it out. Many times, we don’t even realize it’s too late that we are procrastinating—until.
Create a environment that is productive
That you find a place to work where you have at least half a chance of actually getting some writing done if you have made the decision to stop delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical. Your dorm room is almost certainly not the place where you stand most productive. Ditto the computer lab. You can’t connect to the Internet (e-mail and the Web are the bane of the procrastinator’s existence—as you probably already know) if you have a laptop computer, try going someplace where. 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 absolute most skilled procrastinators may be lured to take this suggestion past an acceptable limit, spending an inordinate amount of time “creating a environment that is productive (cleaning, filing, etc.) and not nearly sufficient time actually writing. Don’t end up in 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.
You will write while you are thinking about where to write, consider also when. When have you been most alert? Could it be at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late during the night? Try to schedule writing time when you understand you will end up at your absolute best. Don’t be worried about when you “should” have the ability to write; just focus on whenever you are in a position to write.
Challenge your myths
To be able to break the procrastination habit, we must get past the idea that so that you can write, we must have all the information related to the subject, and now we must have optimal writing conditions. In reality, writers do not have most of the information, and conditions will never be optimal.
Think of a writing project that you will be currently putting off. On a single side of an item of paper, write down all the reasons for your delay. On the reverse side, argue (as convincingly as possible!) resistant to the delay.
Break it down
A single day you will get the paper assignment (ideally), or shortly thereafter, break the writing assignment up into the smallest possible chunks. This way, the paper never has to be able to take on gargantuan proportions in your head. It is possible to say to yourself, “Right now, I’m going to publish the introduction. That’s all, just the introduction!” And you also may become more more likely to sit down and accomplish that, than you will to sit down and “write the paper.”
Get a new attitude
We shoot ourselves into the foot, to start with, by telling ourselves how horrible a writing that is particular is. Changing our attitude toward the job, whenever possible, might go a way that is long keeping us from procrastinating. Tell yourself that the job is not so bad or difficult, which you either discover how to get it done, or that you could understand how while you’re doing it. You may find, too, that in the event that you start in early stages a certain assignment, your attitude never has a chance to get very negative in the first place! Simply needs to write can often help us feel more positive about writing.
Ask for help
- Get an anti-procrastination coach. Then get help from the supportive people in your life if you are really determined not to procrastinate. Tell someone regarding the writing goal and timeline, and get them that will help you see whether or not your plan is realistic. A few times a week, email with a buddy, relative, or mentor, to be able to report (admit?) on your progress, and declare your promise for the a few weeks (or few days). If, despite your very intentions that are good you start procrastinating again, usually do not think, “All is lost!” Instead, communicate with someone about any of it. They may be able to assist you to put your slip into perspective to get back on course.
- Get a buddy. See when you can find a friend to function alongside you. They don’t have to be writing a paper; in reality, they can be Solitaire that is playing whatever you care. What truly matters is at the library (or wherever you have decided to write) at a particular time and stay there for a specific period of time, thus creating accountability that you arrange to meet them.
- 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 group that is writing. A writing group is a good way for|way that is great undergraduate and more advanced writers alike to produce accountability, get feedback, and just get reminded that you’re not the only one when you look at the find it difficult to produce and to boost your writing. See our writing group packet at for more information on simple tips to form and sustain a writing group. Dissertation writers may benefit not just from joining a writing group but also from reading our handout from the dissertation. This handout was authored by a Writing that is former Center member who eventually completed her dissertation.