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Procrastination is a schedule buster. It?s easy to put things off until later, especially when you dread the task such as writing a term paper. But in college, this is a real problem. If you put off your assignments or studying for tests, you are only hurting yourself. Procrastinating leads to stress and anxiety not to mention poor performance. You CAN stop procrastination from affecting your schoolwork.
It can be difficult to start working. Most of the time, however, not starting seems to be related to fear of poor results or negative evaluations than it is to the actual difficulty of the work. Aim to subdivide tasks into small steps and convince yourself that to get started all you need is 10 full minutes working on a task. Often, the 10 minutes will elapse and you'll be right into the swing of things, prepared to continue on productively.
Sometimes you just don't feel motivated to do your schoolwork. It might help to realize that for many people motivation isn't a prerequisite to action…it is a result of it! Try working for a short time and see if you can "get into it."
If your motivation problem seems more substantial, it might help to realize that when you aren't motivated to do school work, you aren't actually out of motivation…you're just motivated to do something else.
Make a schedule. Allocate specific times to complete tasks using daily planners. We have a whole chapter on that in this book. Your planner should always be handy and you should refer to it often. Once you make your schedule, follow it. Work with a roommate or friend to motivate each other. Remember always that once the work is done, you will have more time for yourself, so stick with that schedule.
Make two activity lists: “Things I Like To Do” and “Things I Have To Do”. Mix up activities from both lists and work on each activity for a short period of time. Alternating between fun and work helps to maintain motivation and interest. All work and no fun is another schedule buster. You don?t have to be working ALL the time, but you do have to complete what needs to be done.
Sometimes, you may feel overwhelmed with large projects. This is a normal reaction. When you feel like this, it?s easier to put it off because you don?t know exactly where to start and have a difficult time envisioning the completed task. Divide these major assignments into smaller parts and work on one part at a time. Then put them together into the whole project and feel the satisfaction of a job well done!