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How to Stop Procrastinating: Tips From a Former Procrastinator Herself

Do you ever find yourself constantly scrambling to finish assignments hours or minutes before they are due? Have you convinced yourself that you work better under pressure, so you leave your work until the last minute to get that rush of productivity? I used to be like this as well until I finally learned how to plan out my time to plan my assignments accordingly.

If you’re interested in study tips, organizing skills, or simply learning about how to prevent procrastination, follow along for some of my favorite hacks I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Write. Everything. Down.

One of my greatest fatal flaws was that I never wrote down when my assignments were actually due. I generally knew what I needed to complete for each class or extracurricular activities, but I never had an organized plan of when everything needed to be completed.

Take an agenda book, a bullet journal, a notepad, or even your notes application on your phone, and set your due dates for each task for the next week or few weeks. Transferring this data into a visual form will help you understand exactly when you need to dedicate your time to completing work, rather than realizing that an assignment is due in 30 minutes and you haven’t started yet!

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2. Treat Yourself

Sometimes knowing that you have an endless amount of work can make you put off the misery even more! So, I say, take your favorite snack, TV show, sketch pad (anything you like to do that brings you joy), and reward yourself every time you check another item off of your to-do list. Instead of focusing on the dreary hours of work, look forward to your breaks in between your assignments!

Just make sure to not get too caught up in your fun activity; it can be almost too easy to let a 15-minute break extend to two hour one!

3. Start Your Day on the Earlier Side

Learn from the morning people; I promise it will change your life! I used to wake up at around 11 am-noon every day; leaving me largely unproductive for the rest of the day. Once I started my day earlier, at 8 am, 9 am, or so, my entire day became more focused and organized. I felt that I had more energy throughout the day to complete my assignments and slept better into the next day.

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4. Start Easy

One of the most deterring things to completing your work is when you begin your largest, hardest assignment and have a difficult time with it. I learned to plan out my easier tasks first; that way I’d have a sense of accomplishment and achievement once I began the most daunting task of my day.

It is important to start difficult assignments with confidence, or else it becomes extremely tempting to give up and throw all your hard work out the door.

Remember that procrastinating is totally a normal part of being a college student! I hope that these tips can make the stress load slightly easier, as changing just one thing about your routine could make all the difference. 

Karen Hareli

U Mass Amherst '22

Karen is a junior at UMass Amherst pursuing a Biochemistry degree with a Psychology minor. In her free time she loves to cook, workout, draw and paint, explore new restaurants, and most importantly play with her adorable cat, Leena.
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