Actual ways to beat procrastination and finish all your to-do’s
This post is all about how to stop procrastinating.
We’ve all found ourselves procrastinating from time to time. Sometimes, we go through seasons of productivity and other times, we can’t even imagine figuring out how to stop procrastinating.
I have some bad news and some good news…
The BAD news: You probably won’t ever be PERFECT at productivity.
The GOOD news: You can get a LOT better, with some simple techniques.
The BAD news: You do have to put some work in if you want to stop procrastinating.
The GOOD news: You are beyond capable of doing the work!
Let’s get into some of those STOP PROCRASTINATING tips, shall we?
This post is all about how to stop procrastinating.
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HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING:
1. Relocate to a setting that works for you
The truth is that we all feel more inspired and productive in certain settings than others – and exactly what that setting is will be different for everyone.
Studygram accounts exist because people love to romanticize studying in old libraries or cute coffee shops, or even just in their own rooms at home.
Think about which places are the most exciting to you. Where do you focus best? Is it in a busy, fast-paced environment, or do you need to be somewhere totally quiet and isolated?
Figuring this out is the first critical step to building your anti-procrastination plan. Find your ideal study space that you find easy to romanticize, and then try to relocate there as much as you can!
2. Put on a good study playlist
I know some people don’t like studying with music on, but if you do like having some tunes going during your study sessions, something as simple as just finding or making a new study playlist can really help increase your motivation.
Click here for all my favorite different study playlists that fit a huge variety of different tastes and vibes!! I love listening to music while doing work and these are definitely my go-to study playlists every time.
3. Level Up Your Desk Space
It’s amazing how much it can help to just spruce up your study space a little!
I recently bought just a couple small, inexpensive items to level up my desk organization and it seriously has helped me feel so much more motivated.
Here are some of my favorite tools that will make your desk feel really clean, de-cluttered, and ready to be worked on all the time:
4. Get the supplies you need
I’m a huge believer that having the right stationery supplies is EVERYTHING when it comes to getting work done.
It’s such a small thing, but having tools & supplies that you actually love using makes it so much easier to get in the mood to do work.
Here are some of the supplies I have that bring me just enough joy to actually keep me motivated and make my life easier:
RELATED POST – 10 Stationery Supplies Successful College Students Use
5. Break it Down Into Little Steps
This one is HUGE!
Once I figured out how to do this, I seriously became so much better at productivity and stopped procrastinating as much. So if you can’t stop procrastinating, this is where you might want to start.
A lot of the time, procrastination happens because thinking about actually doing the work feels overwhelming and it’s hard to get started on something that is stressing you out.
But if you break it down into much smaller tasks, it is a lot more manageable and easy to get done! This is one of the best methods on how to stop procrastinating right now because you can literally do it with anything.
For example, if you’re studying for an exam, instead of deciding, “I’m going to spend 4 hours studying for my exam” … just decide that you’re going to spend ten minutes. Or even five minutes. Or it can even be something as simple as, “I’m going to write down one piece of information that I need to know for the exam.”
Once you do these tiny, manageable tasks, you’ll be able to do the next one. And the next one. And so on and so forth until you’re done!
6. Make a to-do list
This one feels like, “okay, duh” but I want you to think about it in a different way from usual.
What do I mean?
Usually we think of putting those big, daunting tasks on our to-do lists. Like “study for exam” or “write essay” or “meal prep for the week.”
But why not make it 10x simpler?
If you’re trying to figure out how to stop procrastinating essay writing, for example, you can break this down on your to-do list. You’ll cross off “write first paragraph of essay” a lot quicker than you can cross off “write and submit final essay.”
This goes hand in hand with the last tip. Break down the tasks you need to accomplish into a much smaller to-do list because you’ll feel like you’re crossing tasks off way quicker, and it will give you the boost of motivation that you need to get it done!
7. Start Time Blocking
I’m not kidding when I tell you that time blocking has been an absolute game-changer for me. Learning how to time block will make your life so much more efficient and will help you wrap your mind around what you need to do when.
Time-blocking basically means that you block a certain chunk of time and dedicate it to a specific task or type of task.
For example, I have my Wednesday afternoons blocked off and dedicated to doing school work. This means that I know every Wednesday, I have a cushion of 3 hours where I have time to just do school work. I can fill that time with whatever it is that I have to do for that given week.
It gives me the ability to say, “I need to be productive for these 3 hours and then after that I can relax a bit.”
You’d seriously be surprised what you can get done in a short period of time if you actually just dedicate a space for it in your schedule. Then, it becomes specific and easy to accomplish instead of being this big overwhelming thing that’s looming over your head!
Time blocking has seriously been one of my favorite methods on how to stop procrastinating in college.
8. Plan in advance
This one also goes hand-in-hand with the last tip.
I almost NEVER go into a new day without already having an idea of what I need to do that day. And I’ve noticed that when I don’t plan it out or have a sense of what needs to happen, I wake up sluggish and more often than not, I procrastinate or truly don’t get anything done.
It’s as simple as taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to plan out what you’re going to try to get done the next day. It’s so small, but will make you so much more mentally prepared for each day!
9. Start a morning routine
DON’T SKIP OVER THIS STEP! Even if you’re not a morning person.
I’m not naturally a morning person, but I’ve realized how much BETTER and MORE PRODUCTIVE I feel if I actually just make myself do my morning routine.
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or even anything long. But doing something simple to put yourself in the right headspace for the day seriously makes all the difference!
10. Stop overthinking it
A lot of the time, procrastination simply comes down to the fact that you’re overthinking.
You don’t know what task to get started on first, or you worry about what will happen if you don’t finish, or worse yet, you just push the task out of your mind completely and distract yourself with other things.
When you’re trying to figure out how to stop procrastinating with homework, the truth is that you simply have to spend less time thinking and more time taking action.
Stop overthinking. It really is as simple as that. Just take the first small step you can (refer back to number 5) and get to it!
11. Find your reasons why
Sometimes it helps to go back to the reason why you NEED to do the task in the first place.
If it’s because of a class you took, why did you take that class? Remind yourself about your thought process when you signed up for it.
If it’s because of the degree you want, why do you want that degree? How is it going to make you the better, smarter, or more successful version of yourself that you want to be?
Doing tasks for the sake of doing them doesn’t help anybody. You need to remember WHY you’re actually doing it if you want to feel motivated!
12. Get a study buddy
I know this isn’t helpful for everyone, because we’re all different and some people genuinely prefer doing work on their own.
But if you’re in need of accountability, it can be really helpful to get a study buddy to do the work with.
This might even just look like finding a friend in that particular class who you can text and keep each other updated on what you’re struggling with on the assignment or how far you’ve come with it.
Your procrastination might be coming from the fact that you have a LOT of things to do from a lot of different classes and you don’t know where to start.
Simply start by prioritizing your tasks. Here are a few questions I ask myself when I’m trying to figure out what tasks to do first:
Which of my assignments is most urgent or is due first?
Which assignment is worth the largest amount of my grade?
Which class is most important to me to succeed in?
Which class is the most difficult or might take me more time?
Based on your answers to these questions, you’ll be able to figure out more easily what assignment to get started on first (and you’ll spend less time being overwhelmed!!)
14. Get clarification
I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time, the reason that I procrastinate on school work is because I actually don’t understand the assignment or what’s expected of me.
If this is what’s happening for you, don’t let it stay that way! It’s always awkward to email a professor to ask questions the day the assignment is due, because then it just proves that you left it to the last minute.
I’ve been in so many situations where I was confused about an assignment but thought, “I can’t email the professor now because it’s too close to the deadline so this will give them a bad impression of me.”
I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I hope you learn from my mistakes, too!! If you need clarification, get it and don’t wait until the last minute.
15. Get an anti-procrastination app
If you’re more the kind of person who likes having tools that will actually help you stay focused, try an app dedicated to staying focused!
I’ve used the Flora app throughout my time as a college student and it really helps me turn my phone off and stay focused on those days when I’m having trouble ignoring my notifications.
You basically “plant a seed” on the app, and the more you keep your phone away, the more it will reward you and allow your tree to grow. It’s such a tiny but practical reward system to help you stay focused!