How to stop procrastinating this summer

Illustration of a person daydreaming about the summer while ignoring a pile of unfinished work and chores
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It’s the night before a deadline and you wish you hadn’t waited so long, yet once again, you find yourself scrambling to finish on time. Procrastination is your worst enemy. Some people put things off to spend time on other projects. Others may be juggling hobbies and other responsibilities prolonging the time it takes them to finish an assignment. Whatever your reasoning behind leaving your work until the last minute, we have a solution. Here are some steps to stop procrastinating now!

Address the task you have the urge to avoid

Let’s be real. New assignments aren’t coordinated with what you already have going on. While pushing a task to the side to accomplish another isn’t bad, repeatedly avoiding the same task can put you at risk of missing a deadline. The next time you find yourself saying, “I’ll do it later,” consider doing it now. Between tasks, take two minutes to work on anything small you can accomplish. 

Nobody’s perfect — embrace the rough draft

When it comes to final projects, the pressure can be heavy. You may struggle to get anything on paper, and it feels like you’ve forgotten how to think. Perfectionism can be preventing your progression. It’s important to remind yourself that you don’t need a polished product on your first try. Don’t erase, delete or hesitate on any idea. Anything you produce might be just what you need.

Take a deep breath and destress

Pulling your hair out every other night doesn’t feel good. If you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, it might be time for a break. This doesn’t have to be long — sometimes a five to 10 minute break can be all you need to get your energy up again. For the tasks that you have a little more time for, do something else! A little self-care might be what your brain needs to function at its best again. Take a bath, read a book or go for a run. Do whatever makes you feel good, and in an hour or two, you’ll be ready to get back to work. 

Break up with your inner critic, and acknowledge your greatness

Criticism that doesn’t aim for growth is not productive nor good for you — that includes the way you talk to yourself. Consider writing or speaking positive self-affirmations as a daily habit. Focus on what you like about yourself and what you do well. Check in with your feelings often. Consider how you respond to those feelings. Are you responding with compassion for yourself? If the answer is no, bring back those affirmations. Positive thoughts about yourself and the potential of your work make reaching deadlines a whole lot easier.

Get organized and get things done

We’ve told you how to stop procrastination with four preventative methods of organizing your tasks. Structuring your tasks for your own benefit is key to getting things done. Once you’ve set some organization for yourself, connect with others to guarantee your success. Ask a friend or classmate to be your accountability partner. Set recurring times to check in with your partner and measure your progress. 

Beating procrastination can be tough, but routinely missing deadlines leads to piles of unfinished work and even less time than when you started. Implement these tips into your lifestyle to stop procrastinating, and if all else fails, try productive procrastination

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].