Procrastination is a difficult habit to break, but it’s one of the keys to being productive. As a busy student, productivity is crucial, and therefore to stop procrastinating is a goal for many students.
But how exactly do you stop procrastinating? Though the process is not intuitive at first, there are a couple of things that can help.
In this post, I’ll teach you the 7 steps that will help you stop procrastinating– for real. If you’re ready to get productive, keep reading.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
My Favorite Productivity Tools
Before we get into the actionable steps, I want to share some of the tools I cannot live (productively) without. These are all super affordable and straight off of Amazon, so don’t worry: you don’t have to sell an arm and a leg to stop procrastinating!
- Daily Productivity Planner: though I love going digital, I can’t live without a physical planner as well. It keeps me organized and tracks my progress, and is absolutely essential for students like you.
- Paper Organizer: I often keep the things I need to work on in plain view, and instead of piling them all up in the corner of my desk, I keep them stored in this organizer. It makes papers easier to find and makes me more likely to work on them.
- Sticky Notes: I believe that sticky notes are wildly underrated; I use them as bookmarks, reminders, notes, todo lists, etc, and they’re the perfect way to keep important information in a visible place.
- Ergonomic Laptop Stand: being comfortable helps you stay productive, and having an ergonomic laptop stand helps elevate your desktop to eye level, reducing back stress.
- Ultimate 3-in-1 Student Planner: this planner was made by yours truly specifically for students like you. It includes 45 pages of planners, trackers, templates, and more. It’s completely undated and printable, so you can use it however you’d like! Check it out!
- Complete Habit-Building Workbook: many students want to build good habits, but they don’t know how. This workbook outlines the foolproof process to build habits that stick, and includes multiple habit trackers– perfect for students.
Planning ahead is key. Whether you’re going on vacation, working on a project, or attending a lecture, you need to plan ahead. The level of detail can vary, though.
The most common form of procrastination occurs when you mean to do homework. You don’t want to do it, and you procrastinate until you cannot any longer.
One of the most important ways to prevent this is to plan ahead. If your assignment is large (and more of a project), create a timeline that spans from the day it’s assigned to the day it’s due. Break it down (we will talk about this in the next section) and set deadlines along the timeline to stay accountable.
Similarly, you should also plan ahead for each day or session of studying. Determine what exactly you’re going to complete and how you’re going to do it; I’ve found that having a structure to follow helps me stay productive and focused, so try that out!
I have a free Study Session planner available in my Freebie Library, and it’s the perfect way to outline and structure your study time. You can get the secret password to my Library for free by subscribing to my email list:
Break It Down
It can be intimidating when you come across a large project or assignment. In fact, many students procrastinate because they’re put off by the idea of jumping on an assignment so large.
But don’t be intimated! Your assignment will not get smaller as you procrastinate; in a certain sense, it gets larger as your time runs out! So instead of waiting until it’s too late, break it down and start planning.
There are generally 2 ways to break your assignment down:
- By time: Every day, I will spend 30 minutes on this assignment.
- By section: Every day, I will complete 1 section/part of this assignment.
I often find the second method (breaking it down by section) the most productive and effective, because having a time limit can be restricting sometimes. However, feel free to try both and use whichever is best for you!
Time-blocking is no doubt my favorite way to plan my day. It’s simple, effective, and satisfying. Here’s what my time-blocked week looks like on my desktop calendar:
I’ve color-coded my tasks with different categories such as school, work, blog, etc. Blocking periods of my day and planning (almost) every hour is my most effective way of staying productive and on task.
If you find yourself procrastinating often, try time-blocking! It will not only help you stay accountable, but the feeling of completing every task early and having extra time to have fun is indescribably satisfying.
You can set timeblocks on a digital calendar (like Apple or Google calendar) or use a physical planner. My Ultimate 3-in-1 Student Planner has a spread for this, so check it out if you’re serious about planning and becoming productive!
YOU’LL LOVE THIS POST: Complete Organization System For Online Students
Sometimes, you might not even mean to procrastinate– it just happens. In this case, you likely have distractions that are disrupting you from your task at hand. And obviously, to prevent this from happening, you need to remove those distractions.
Some distractions that are causing you to procrastinate may include:
- Your phone
- Social media
- Your pets
- The TV
Now, you don’t need to delete all your apps or sell your games and TV to stop procrastinating. If you can’t remove the distraction from you physically, remove yourself from its presence. This would be the case for the TV, your pets and siblings, etc.
However, you can turn off social media notifications, organize and hide your gaming consoles, and blacklist distracting websites with a browser extension. But if your phone is highly addictive and you need more than turning off notifications, check out this post:
Find Your Peak Times
No one is productive all the time. Everyone has their peaks and valleys, also known as the times when they’re most productive and when they’re least productive,
It’s okay (and normal) to be unmotivated during your “valley” times. You don’t need to force yourself to be productive. But you should find your peak times and try to get a lot done during those times.
Finding your peak times can take some trial-and-error, but once you do, your procrastination will drop and your productivity will skyrocket. And with the help of the previous (and next) tips, you’ll be able to maximize your peak times and be super productive.
Mentality & Mindset
Having the right mentality and mindset can also affect your procrastination and productivity. Keeping a positive attitude and having a goal in mind can greatly increase your motivation and thus prevent procrastination.
Therefore, set a goal for yourself. Think of something you really want to achieve and how the work you’re doing right now will help you do so. This will be your motivation.
Then as you’re working towards your goal, practice staying positive and looking at the big picture. Once in a while, look back at how far you’ve come and note how close you are to your goal.
Having the right mentality and mindset will help your mind stay on the right track as you beat procrastination, so be sure to develop it from the very start!
Find A Buddy
My last tip– and in my opinion, the most “fun” tip– is to find a friend. They can be someone who has already found their way of being productive, or someone who is still working on beating procrastination.
You and your friend can give each other reminders to be productive; make sure the other is completing assignments on time and not being distracted. A buddy can also help you stay positive and lighthearted while working, which is a great help in maintaining the right mentality.
However, working with the wrong person (even if they’re your friend) can increase your procrastination. Therefore, make sure your productivity-buddy is willing to stay accountable and responsible and help you do so as well!
I hope this post gave you the tips you were looking for to effectively beat procrastination! What was your favorite tip?
If you’re looking for more posts like this, below are some of my popular productivity-related posts! And if you’d like to request a blog post on a certain topic, comment below!