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How Do I Stop Procrastinating, Stop Wasting Time, and Study More?

If you’ve read our chapter on procrastination, you know what procrastination is and some reasons why you may be doing it. But recognizing procrastination is only half the battle! Because for most people, it is the default go-to when faced with tasks. So you need to actively work to fight against procrastination. We’ve found these tips to be most helpful to help you defeat procrastination on a daily basis.

  1. Have mental commitment: Adopt a “do it anyway” mentality.
    • When you put off doing a task, starting your studying, or anything else that you deem unpleasant, you’re really just avoiding it to prevent yourself from feeling those unpleasant feelings.
    • It’s time to reset your emotions and realize that not everything in life is easy and sometimes we have to face the unpleasantness!
    • This is a mental exercise in which you make up your mind that no matter how unpleasant a task is, how much you dislike the subject, or don’t want to write another paragraph—you’re going to do it anyways.
  2. Break a large, seemingly overwhelming project up into smaller tasks.
    • Sometimes you procrastinate on even starting because a project or exam seems so huge that it freaks you out to even think about it.
    • As the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Huge projects are made up of many small steps.
    • Before you know it, you’ll have gotten started towards completing your huge task and beaten your procrastination monster for the day!
  3. Verbally commit to a task.
    • Have you heard of the term “accountability partner?” An accountability partner is someone in your corner to keep cheering you on and holding you to commitments you’ve made. It’s much harder to procrastinate and avoid doing a task when you have publicly stated that you’re going to do it.
    • See if you can find a way to make public your study-related, or project-related, tasks for the day or for the week. Can you post to your social networks? Tell a classmate your goals? Go online, even to a forum like Reddit, to find a place to publicly post your study tasks? Put it out there and have other people hold your feet to the proverbial fire.
  4. Assign more value to your studies than to the things you procrastinate with.
    • Another way that we humans prioritize things is by assigning a mental value to them.
    • If you are procrastinating from doing a study-related task, and instead doing something else like watching TV or scrolling through your Instagram feed, then that ultimately means you have assigned a higher mental value to those other things.
    • Recognizing this, ask yourself whether this is the case—is it really more valuable to you in the long run to binge-watch just one more episode of that Netflix series, or get up to date on your Instagram feed or to commit to completing your study tasks for the day?
    • Once you recognize yourself doing this, you can mentally reset once again. Keep yourself on track and remind yourself to do what’s ultimately more valuable to you so you actually get those study tasks done.

Now it’s time to put some of these new methods for defeating procrastination to the test. We’re going to become a remote accountability partner for you.

What is one task you’ve been putting off for a really long time because it’s difficult or tedious? You know, one that you’ll really need to adopt a Do It Anyway mentality for! We want to know about it. Tweet your goals for the week at us with #beatprocrastination. We’ll check in with you in a week to see if you stuck to your commitment to get this task done.

Erica Forrette

Erica Forrette

Chipper Team Member