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I’ll Do It Later: My Ultimate Guide To Ending Procrastination

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

The sweet thoughts of “I’ll do it later” or “That can wait until tomorrow” have gone through my head more than I’d like to admit. Stepping foot onto a college campus for the first time seemed to have changed something within me. Suddenly, I was faced with being on my own. The unfortunate realization that my mother wasn’t going to be there to do the things I cherished so much — such as cooking my favorite meals, cleaning, and keeping me in check — was heart-wrenching. My time management was thrown off course, and I felt like the world was caving down on me since it was so easy to put off important tasks such as studying or self-care to binge-watch TikTok.

People like me worry about not having enough time to give their full effort to completing the seemingly never-ending tasks they have. So, here are some time management tips and tricks that have helped me overcome the brutal obstacle that is procrastination.

1. Acceptance and Mindfulness

I find that admitting to any issue I am facing is important when taking that first step to overcome it. There is a stage of denial and a stage of acceptance when it comes to procrastination. I certainly believed I didn’t do it at first as I didn’t just blatantly ignore tasks I had, but there is a spectrum. It comes in many forms. Being mindful of my procrastination and exploring the dynamics of the source and why it might be happening is extremely important. When I first started paying attention to the fact that I was putting off tasks, I took a step back and reflected, which allowed me to not fall victim to my actions.

2. Eliminating Distractions and Having Self-Control

Keeping my phone near me while trying to get work done is difficult. Taking a second to respond to a text leads to scrolling on Instagram for 30 minutes. Having distractions such as that destroys my effective studying. I find that either putting my phone on “Do Not Disturb” or using apps such as Forest helps me out.

Forest is an app I use when struggling with procrastination, as it helps when I’m studying or completing any task. It’s in the form of a game where keeping the app open grows a forest but closing it to go to another app causes the forest to die. My favorite part about Forest is that it plants real trees with the help of its users, making it one of the few apps that give you time to work and implement ways for you to foster the environment. It allows for self-control and motivation, which helps me be one step closer to achieving my goals.

3. Organizing Tasks and Goals

Setting realistic goals for yourself is important for avoiding feelings of being overwhelmed. I found that creating “SMART” goals boosts my productivity. “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. I wrote an example of using these goals for my productivity below.

  • Specific: Creating a good study environment with minimal distractions.
  • Measurable: Using a planner to keep track of tasks.
  • Achievable: Touching base on my classes every day to not fall behind and ensure I accomplish my goal.
  • Relevant: Knowing my success both inside and outside the classroom truly matters to me.
  • Time-Bound: Sticking to this goal regimen for 1 month to see how I improve.

I found that using “SMART” goals for the overall organization of my thoughts has become relevant to my long-term goals. Using the example above helps procrastination no longer be such a big occurrence in my life.

4. Rewarding Myself

Without something to look forward to after my work such as hanging out with friends over the weekend or even something as simple as a 15-minute break, I sometimes become burnt out fast. While I make sure to keep moving forward with my tasks even when I may not feel like it, I give myself breaks as well. Overall, I give myself plenty of time to study instead of waiting until the day before. Not cramming everything until the last minute is the biggest and easiest way for me to avoid burnout, as I am not fully engulfed in a single task for hours on end. Additionally, to help declutter my mind and feel a bit more focused when I resume my work after a break, I partake in activities I enjoy like yoga.

With all being said, I hope some, if not all, of these tips and tricks can somehow be implemented in your life to help you achieve more than ever before. Procrastination is something almost all of us have faced, especially college students, so don’t feel shame. By routinely practicing mindfulness, “SMART” goals, rewarding myself, and more, I get good long-term results when it comes to my studies. 

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Hey guys! My name is Lauren and I am a Junior here at FSU. I am on the Pre-Med track but love to write in my free time! I write on a plethora of topics so stay tuned. :) I hope you enjoy my articles with wishes they bring a little joy into your day! Happy reading, stay kind! <3