Top Anti-Procrastination Strategies For University Students
Procrastination is a challenge faced by university students across the world, and occurs when you put off heavy academic workloads to do something else rather than the task you need to be doing.
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of delaying your upcoming deadlines, assignments and studying, especially with so many distractions around you.
However procrastinating completing your university work can impact your academic success and overall well-being.
To help you break this habit, we’ll be discussing the top anti-procrastination strategies for students so that you can stay focused, productive, and on top of your academic game!
1. Determine Why You Procrastinate
Procrastination is something that many students struggle with, but the reasons why people put off doing their tasks can vary.
If you’re reading this guide then chances are you have a habit that you’re trying to break, so our first strategy is to reflect on why you procrastinate.
It could be due to anxiety relating to failure, a lack of interest in the course you’re studying, you could feel overwhelmed by the workload or maybe you don’t understand what it is you need to do.
In some cases, procrastinating can be linked to depression, anxiety, ADHD, or another underlying issue too.
By addressing the root cause of procrastination, it can help you to develop healthier study habits.
2. Limit Distractions
Whilst technology and social media can be great, they do bring numerous distractions into our lives, which makes it harder to stay focused on the tasks at hand.
When it comes to studying or working on assignments, you should create a quiet, distraction-free environment.
This means turning off your social media notifications, putting your phone on do not disturb, not heading to the communal spaces to talk to your flatmates and finding a comfortable space to concentrate better.
If you’re someone who struggles to stay off their devices when studying, there’s plenty of apps out there you can use to block your notifications from certain apps.
Or, you could even place your phone somewhere you won’t be tempted to get it.
3. Find The Ideal Study Space
If you’re a student who wants to stop procrastinating, It’s important to find the ideal study space that suits you best.
Everyone is different so what may work for your friends may not work for you, some people thrive in the library, some prefer the buzz of a cafe, and others like to study at home.
The place where you study really impacts your ability to concentrate, so make sure to find a quiet and clutter-free space where you can get your head down and complete your work.
It’s best to keep all the study materials you need within easy reach to avoid wasting time searching for them too, so keep your laptop charger and your pen and notepad close-by!
4. Set Small Goals
Our next anti-procrastination strategy is to start by setting small and achievable goals for each academic term.
You should break your targets down into smaller chunks to reduce any feelings of panic or pressure.
Such as, if you have a 5000 word essay coming up, set yourself a target of writing a certain word count each day.
To help you have a better sense of direction and to help you to stay motivated, it’s best to create a to-do list for each day or week.
When creating a plan, you should prioritise each of your tasks based on their deadline and importance.
For example, if you’ve got a big exam coming up in a few weeks time, as well as an assignment deadline a few weeks later, it’s best to revise for the exam first.
5. Be Kind To Yourself
Are you wanting to break the habit of procrastination? Our next strategy is to make sure to be kind to yourself.
Stopping procrastination won’t just happen overnight unfortunately, it’s an ongoing process that takes time, so make sure to be patient and forgive yourself if you slip up occasionally.
Try not to call yourself lazy or beat yourself up if you do fall back into old habits, it’s okay as long as you get back on track!
Remember that everyone procrastinates at times, in fact studies show that around 50% of university students regularly delay tasks that they need to do.
6. Rewards Are Key
Rewarding yourself after completing your assignments and deadlines, or meeting your goals is really important as it can help reinforce positive behaviour.
Make sure to celebrate your achievements, no matter if they’re big or small, whether it’s with little treats, a shopping trip, a night out, or just quality time with your friends.
Celebrating your successes can be a driving force to help you maintain focus and overcome procrastination.
So be sure to reward yourself for reaching each milestone, you’ve got this!
7. Energise Yourself
Everyone knows just how important exercise is for your physical and mental well-being, but it’s also great for improving your cognitive performance.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about a specific assignment or exam and keep putting it off, go for a walk, a jog, a run or exercise in a way that you enjoy.
Paying attention to your body can really do wonders for your state of mind and will help you to stay motivated, as long as it’s done in moderation.
You’ll probably find that if you do a huge workout prior to your study session, that you’ll be too tired to complete your work afterwards, so make sure to plan your exercise regime wisely.
To work efficiently, you need to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep so that your energy levels are high and you’re ready for the day ahead.
8. Work Alongside Others
If you want to stop procrastinating whilst at uni, we’d suggest surrounding yourself with motivated and goal-oriented people.
It’s likely you’ll have friends who also want to combat their procrastination habits, so why not team up with them? You can hold each other accountable for completing tasks on time.
You’ll also be able to offer each other encouragement when needed, and it can make the process more enjoyable if you know someone else is in the same boat as you!
Procrastination is something that most university students deal with, but with the right strategies you can overcome it.
We hope these anti-procrastination strategies will help you to thrive whilst at university, take them on board and be patient with yourself!
Wondering what you should do before starting university? If so, we have just the guide for you so give it a read!