Does procrastinating affect your study or wellbeing? Here’s how to stop
‘I’m taking care of my procrastination issues – just you wait and see.’
‘Sorry. No time. I have a lot of procrastinating to do.’
‘From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful.’
Sound familiar? Never fear, we can help you stop procrastinating!
Procrastinating is putting off doing a required task, often by finding something else to do. This creates a lot of stress because the task still needs to be done, but you risk running out of time. So, when you finally complete the task, it’s far from your best work.
We’re all guilty of putting off something important in favour of doing something enjoyable. But as well as making your uni assignments more stressful, procrastinating can also affect your mental health.
Procrastination is rarely about laziness or time management. It’s more likely to be due to:
- not feeling motivated in your course
- believing the task is too difficult, big or boring
- fear of failure.
So procrastination is actually closely linked to your attitude toward yourself and your work.
How you can stop procrastinating
Procrastination is an active process – you’re choosing to do something else instead of your work. You need to recognise that you’re doing it, and remember that the reward and relief of finishing an assignment you’re proud of will feel way better than the quick fix you get from procrastinating.
Here’s some quick ways to focus on your study:
- Start right now – once you get the ball rolling, it will be easier to return to something that you’ve already started. It can also help to tackle the least pleasant aspects first, so you get them out of the way early.
- Set realistic goals – don’t attempt to do a whole assignment in one night. Break down your work into smaller, more achievable tasks, and try to complete them one at a time.
- Ask someone to check up on you – feeling accountable to someone else will help you stay focused. You could also try a self-monitoring app like Procraster.
- Minimise distractions – turn off your phone, avoid checking email and ignore the temptation to monitor your social media feeds.
- Reward yourself – do something you love after completing each task (instead of doing it beforehand).
- Plan ahead – mark dates and times for study in your diary.
Where to get more help
The below services are free and available to all Deakin students:
- If you’re feeling overcome with anxiety and can’t complete your course work, have a confidential chat to one of our highly skilled psychologists and social workers from Deakin’s Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) service. You’ll have a real-time telehealth appointment – which means you’ll speak to your counsellor over the phone or via Zoom. Book online or call your local Deakin Health and Wellbeing Centre.
- Make a Zoom appointment with a Deakin Language and Learning Adviser to discuss your approach to work and learn how to complete your assignments on time.