Procrastination: What It Is and How to Handle It

In our latest video, we discuss procrastination and how best to handle it. Procrastinating is something that nearly all of us do. But for some students putting off tasks can lead to the feeling that even starting them is impossible, leading to unnecessary stress and anxiety.


How can you overcome procrastination? Here are a few tips that we recommend.

  1. Ask the right questions. Each day, think about what tasks need to be completed and if you have the right tools to complete them, such as notebooks, textbooks, calendar, etc.
  2. Make a list of your tasks, by difficulty and urgency. Envision how you are going to finish the day’s tasks and develop a plan to be successful. After making your list, rank each task so that you complete the most difficult and urgent tasks first. By breaking your task list down in this way it will not seem so overwhelming and will help you find your focus.
  3. Break down big tasks into smaller tasks. Speaking of breaking things down, take larger tasks a step further and separate them into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, if you have a test on Friday, review your notes on Monday, study the chapter on Tuesday and Wednesday, and do a final review on Thursday. A big exam will seem less daunting than if you tried to do everything Thursday night (or even Friday morning!).
  4. Figure out timing. Be sure to have a good understanding of when you’ll start the task, how long it will take, and what deadlines you’ll reach. Don’t forget to count breaks too! We recommend spending 25 minutes focused on a task followed by a 5 minute break (also called the Pomodoro method). Small breaks will help you stay focused for as long as is necessary to complete the tasks on your list.

While it may feel easier to put off work before it needs to be done, procrastinating now adds to more stress later. Following these steps will help you become more productive and less stressed.

Let’s get started now!


Posted in Study Techniques, News, Executive Function

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