How to Stop Procrastinating on Work: Advice From a Former Master Procrastinator

You know that feeling laying on the couch checking the time every hour. Your subtracting how much time you have left until you absolutely 100% really need to go start your work. You finally get up and it’s a race against the clock to have your assignment handed in before 11:59 p.m. You finally reached the page limit needed, and you’re ready to submit. Until you realize you haven’t done any citations! The website you're using to create them has decided this would be the perfect time to show you a minute long video in order to create it. Unfortunately, you don’t make it on time and now your paper is marked late. Or maybe you had your citations done and got your work submitted on time. Your assignment is graded and once again you’ve received a pretty decent grade for the amount of time you put into the work.

So the cycle continues because it hasn’t failed you yet. But what really is the point of procrastinating? Why do we do it? The only reason I could think of to validate my constant procrastination was being fine with ‘good enough’ work. I was putting in the bare minimum because I knew that could get me a decent grade. I would sit in bed on my phone, go out with friends, or put anything else before the work I needed to get done. Now because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there really is nothing else to do besides work. 

It’s funny how it took a whole pandemic to finally make me stop procrastinating. But besides the pandemic I was really over not being proud of the work I was submitting. Truthfully, in order to stop procrastinating you have to readjust the way your mind thinks about the work given. You have to stop settling for the good enough. You have to realize that the assignments you are given are to help you improve and understand the course. Procrastinating shows you can get the work done as quickly as possible. When you should be trying to get the work done to the best of your ability in order to excel in the class and have that information ready to use in your career.

I started by writing to-do lists of all the assignments due and created a schedule of times when to do each one of them. Sounds simple, but constantly thinking ‘I can do this tomorrow’ didn’t help. It was satisfying to cross every assignment off the list after completing them early. Not only are the assignments submitted early, but I actually enjoy working on them. Overall there’s no more heart pounding moments, all-nighters, or clouds of assignments over my head. Now that I’ve stopped procrastinating I actually have more free time and my grades are at the top of the class.