How to handle procrastination

Procrastination is when you postpone things, although you know that this will have negative consequences in the long term. If you want to stop postponing your studies, below are some useful tips.

Procrastination is a learned behavior based on the fact that we react on unpleasant feelings (stress, lead, anxiety, etc.) by avoiding them. In a study situation, this often happens automatically in the moment we sit down with the books. Some of us have a personality which makes us more easily stuck in this behaviour.

Another circumstance that may partly explain a postponing behaviour is that studies in higher education is done independently to a large extent. It is your own responsibility if you show up during lectures, no one will check your presence. Hence, the risk of postponing in a study environment compared to a work environment is bigger.

A few tips for stopping procrastination

  • Get to know the excuses you use for yourself when you postpone things.
  • Learn to endure the discomfort - you can study even if you are not motivated.
  • Create structure in everyday life. Plan when to study and when not to.
  • Plan for short study sessions and clear breaks.
  • Make a reasonable planning. If you plan too much, the discomfort will increase and the risk of falling back into the progression will increase.
  • Set clear goals and reasonable deadlines.
  • Study with a friend. If you have agreed to meet a friend at the library, the chance that you actually go there is much bigger.
  • Reward yourself.
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