C. Overcoming Procrastination

A major problem for many students is that they cannot get things done in due time. They postpone things, do other things that are not really necessary etc. and all this prevents them from getting the job done while at the same time they feel bad about it. Are you a procrastinator? Take the test.

("Procrastination Test – Abridged." Queendom.com, 1996. Web. 31 May 2011)

Most people procrastinate now and then. That's perfectly normal. Ask yourself why you procrastinate. Maybe you are slightly lazy, maybe you are afraid of failure, maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by deadlines and work, maybe you simply want to avoid doing something unpleasant or difficult. There are many reasons for procrastinating but if you procrastinate to an extent where it affects your work and has a negative impact on your happiness it is time to do something about it. Here are 5 strategies to combat procrastination
Get started NOW: Take the first step and begin the task. Break the task up in small parts and do one at a time. Reward yourself after each piece of work. Don't think about making it perfect. Just do it. Now you have showed yourself that you are in control! If you can do it once, you can do it again.
Use positive self-talk to motivate yourself. Use previous positive experience to convince you that you can get things done. Say: Last time I wrote a paper, I did pretty well so why not this time? Say: It is difficult and challenging but I will do my best. Say: I would like to see my friends now but if I make the assignment in one hour I will still have plenty of time to see them and I will feel much better because the paper is done.
Let go of perfectionism – which may prevent you for getting started in the first place. Do the best you can – strive for excellence but not perfection. Give yourself a deadline and force yourself to keep it when you do assignments or prepare presentations. Allow for a few revisions and then finish once and for all.
Respect deadlines by setting yourself an earlier deadline. No work done in the last minute is good because you don't have time to reflect on your thoughts and arguments. Start early on to get an idea of what is expected. Get the necessary information if you feel lost and don't know how to approach the assignment.
Stick to your plans. If you feel a sudden urge to clean your room, file your papers or call old friends tell yourself that this is not the way to handle the task at hand. Stays focused and prioritize. Learn to say no. Your room may need cleaning but what is more important here and now?
If you cannot get things done here is some advice to overcome it
Set realistic goals.
Look into yourself: are you postponing the work because of fear, anxiety, concentration problems, perfectionism or something completely different?
Discipline yourself and focus on priorities (don't start cleaning the house now!)
Minimise distractions and take your work seriously
Study in small blocks and take breaks.
Reward yourself when you mark off some of the stuff from your revision plan.
See more here http://ub-counseling.buffalo.edu/stressprocrast.php

("Overcoming procrastination." University at Buffalo, February 20011 Web. 31 May 2011)

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