Avoiding Procrastination

by Gwyn Boyer

As a student I’ve found that one of my biggest hurdles has been overcoming procrastination. I’ve had countless nights in which I’ve put off a paper, only to write it the night before it’s due in a crazed panic. This is a gamble that rarely pays off. Getting into this habit was honestly one of the worst things I could have done to myself as a student. This is because as I progress ever closer to my degree, the classes become harder and the workload increases. So how do you avoid procrastination once you are in the habit?

For me, the easiest way to avoid procrastination was to plan out each assignment. To do this all you need is the syllabus from your professor, the assignment guidelines, and a planner or calendar of some sort. Try not to use the joke-a-day/inspirational quote-a-day/puppy-a-day calendars. The cute puppies and redneck jokes are distracting, and it’s hard to see your entire plan of attack on these types of calendars.

Each assignment has different guidelines, so each plan will be different. The goal is to even out the workload of your assignments. That way you don’t feel overwhelmed at any point in the quarter.

Set deadlines for yourself and follow through with them. One thing that can help is to make an appointment with the Writing Center. We will help you through your entire writing process, so use us to help you keep on schedule.

Another tip to overcome procrastination is to set your deadline for the finished paper a day or two before it’s due. This helps because if you stay on schedule you can make another appointment with the Writing Center to double check your final draft. Or, if for some reason you don’t stay on schedule, you still have that one or two days to finish it, and will still turn in your paper on time.

Keep in mind that this is a hard habit to break. If you don’t quite get it at first, keep trying. Just like any other aspect of writing, “practice makes perfect.”


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