Beating procrastination- one task at a time

Erin Parker


“I'd be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I'd been given. I'd be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.” ~ Denzel Washington

Distance yourself from the places you find most comfortable. Move into a quiet, noise free area other than your bed.


Procrastination is a mind game. You just have to find a way to beat it. Here is how it works:


Your brain tells you to put off a task to relieve the pressure of completing it in that instant. It is a chronic mind game, a habitual routine that if left unchecked will continue to weigh on your productivity and create stress. You unintentionally try to avoid stress by putting off a task, but that stress, a dangerous mechanism, slowly escalates as time goes on because you are allowing yourself only a smaller and smaller time frame to complete it.


Procrastination transcends into the other issue of stress under a time crunch. In online school, we see that 11:59 mark as an excuse to put an assignment off. The mind of a procrastinator at work tells you that you have hours and hours between now and 11:59. The stress you try to avoid by putting a task off only doubles in the small window of time you leave to complete it. This is a reflection of your self control. How do you manage stress? How do you prioritize work? How do you effectively complete a task?


Tasks of high priority are most often the ones we put off. You may have a project due with a five day time frame to complete it. Stop looking at the project as one big task, and try breaking it down into smaller ones. Take it one step at a time. Divide the project into five parts, that way you’re only completing a small task each day. If you put the first four days of the project off, that stress you were trying to avoid by starting has doubled by the end of the week. Prioritizing your work is key to effectively defeat procrastination.

Take everything one day at a time, and build up a routine for how much time you want your assignments completed. This builds consistency.


In an online school environment, there are not many places effective for concentrating. You spend all day inside, and if you find yourself sitting in bed for seven hours, that environment will not motivate you to complete a task. Distance yourself from the places you find most comfortable. Move into a quiet, noise free area other than your bed. The kitchen table, the living room, or perhaps the basement. Your phone is the biggest distraction there is. With social media and constant notifications, your brain is automatically drawn to the repetitive dinking of a device. Put your phone in a different room. The false notion of silencing your phone, and setting it aside is not effective. For a generation who feeds off the use of phones, you need to completely detach yourself from it. Put it in another room.


Focus on an end goal. By the end of the night consider how you want to feel and how much you want complete. Take everything one day at a time, and build up a routine for how much time you want your assignments completed. This builds consistency. Consistency in an effective work completing strategy will help you excel in whatever area you choose. Managing procrastination with school assignments will build a skill set useful to the rest of your life.


I have learned through many years of trial and error that the most important step to stop your procrastination is addressing the fact that you have a problem. Knowing is half the battle. From there, I took steps to solve the issue. I have a tendency to go in with the greatest expectations and become disappointed when things didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned them. Don’t have a mindset, that the problem is going to be solved in one day. Don’t raise your expectations so much, that you become too discouraged to continue. Take it one day at a time. One step at a time. I still am nowhere near perfect at not procrastinating. But I have taken the steps to be better at it, and you can too.


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