I'll Do It Later - Your Guide to Procrastinating In A Healthy Way

As I sit here on a Sunday afternoon staring blankly at my computer screen with a lab report and history paper due in the coming days, I felt it was perfectly fitting to channel my reluctance to do school work into this article. Hopefully I can help somebody else stay on task much better than I am right now. The fact of the matter is that we love to procrastinate and fall back on the “eh I’ll do it later” excuse, but it is also very possible to turn reluctance to do things into a productive activity. Here’s how to avoid procrastination, or at least procrastinate well, from a girl who just does not want to do her homework: 

  1. Recognize that you are procrastination and identify exactly what it is you are avoiding. This will make it easier to eventually work back to it...later. Accepting that you are procrastinating something is the first step to changing it, and eventually getting that task done.  
  2. Work with people who will help your productivity, not hinder it. If a friend wants to work together but you know one or both of you will not being to get stuff done, don’t feel bad saying no. Make sure to explain that it is not personal. Sometimes work time needs to take precedence over friend time, and that’s okay. 
  3. GET OUT OF BED! Yes, it's cold outside and your bed is comfy, but being in bed is the chief productivity killer. In fact, get out of your dorm room/apartment so the temptation to spend the afternoon snuggled up with your favorite Netflix show can’t hold any power over you.  
  4. Find a “productivity place”- somewhere you go only to work on the things you need to get done.  Try to look for somewhere that is a little secluded so when exam week rolls around it is still accessible and not insanely crowded. 
  5. Purchase a pair of over the ear, noise cancelling headphones and pair that with your best motivational playlist. This is especially helpful if you are like me and work best while listening to music but also have the attention span of a goldfish.  
  6. PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY. Cat videos are just as much of a distraction as being in bed. Put on your music and put it away. Twitter will still be there when you get back. 
  7. If you must avoid a certain task, channel your time and energy into some other legitimate task. Don’t want to write your paper? Go work out, or clean, or do the laundry you’ve been putting off for a week. Procrastinate by doing other stuff instead of just staring off into space. 
  8. Write out all the things you need to do in the coming days and prioritize them by due date and importance. Highlighters are my best friend for this. Color-code each class, extracurricular, and social activity in a way that works best for you.   
  9. Using the to-do list I previously mentioned, schedule your time. Use either a planner or notebook to physically write out your daily schedule, it may seem tedious, but it helps keep you on task.  
  10. Make time in that schedule for nothingness. This is not only helpful for curbing procrastinating, but also is important when it comes to your mental health. College is stressful and we all get a little burnt out sometimes. Schedule some you time (in moderation) among all the craziness of daily life to just be for a little while.  Meditate, color, nap, do a face mask or whatever you need to do unwind. I promise it will help you in the long run.  

Obviously, all of these tips can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle, but they certainly have helped me curb my bad procrastination habit. Good luck, and happy avoiding!

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