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Procrastination

Introduction

Procrastination means when you put things on hold even though you know it will have negative consequences for you in the long term. It is not something you are born with but a type of behaviour. We respond to negative feelings (stress, suffering, anxiety etc) quite simply by avoiding them. This often happens automatically in situations we do not like. Certain people have a personality that makes it easier for them to experience procrastionation.

One circumstance that can to some extent explain procrastination is the lack of external control in higher education. There is no one who checks if you attend your lectures, for example. There is a big difference between a place of study and a place of work. At a place of work, you will quickly be found out if you do not do anything, hence, external control applies.

Tips to stop procrastination

  • Learn to recognize the excuses you use when you start to procrastinate.
  • Learn to keep going even when you are struggling - you can study even when you are not motivated.
  • Become structured. Make a weekly plan for when you are supposed to study and when you are supposed to be free.
  • Plan short study sessions with clear breaks. For example: Study for 25 minuter and then take a five minute break. After the break, repeat.
  • Make realistic plans. If you plan too much the discomfort gets bigger and the risk of procrastination increase.
  • Make milestones and targets as well as realistic deadlines.
  • Study with a friend. If you have planned to study with a friend at the library, the odds of you going there is much greater than planning to go alone. Even parallell-studies are experienced by procrastinators to increas the odds. (Parallell-study = To study with a friend who has a different major)
  • Reward yourself.

If you need help with the planning of your studies, procrastination is a recurring problem or how to study, you are always welcome to get guidance at Student Support.

Updated 2018-10-19