Learning skills: Procrastination

Presents information and URLs on learning skills

Procrastination

It can sometimes be helpful to wait to do something until you’re motivated or want to work at your peak time. However, if you put things off on regular basis and leave important tasks to be accomplished in a rush at the last minute, procrastination may be a problem for you.

Some of the reasons people procrastinate include:

  • Feeling uncertain about the task or how to approach it
  • Feeling uncertain about the instructor's expectations
  • Disliking the task
  • Thinking the task is too big or complicated
  • Fearing failure
  • Being unprepared by not planning how to accomplish the task

Here are some strategies that you may find helpful to overcome procrastinating:

  • Find out all you can about the task. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor/professor for more information or clarification.
  • Look for something interesting in the topic or connect the topic to something that is meaningful to you.
  • Use an outline to break the task down into smaller tasks. If you're stuck on one task, switch to another one.
  • Post short term goals in a prominent place.
  • Make your process concrete by listing everything you have to do, set priorities, and get started.
  • Consider your options: is there another way of doing it?
  • Use the buddy system so you and a friend can keep each other on track.
  • Ask yourself: What one thing can I accomplish towards completing this task?
  • Tell everybody what you’re working on.
  • Plan! Make and use master and weekly schedules.
  • Think of a reward you’ll allow yourself AFTER you’ve completed your task.
    (Source: Roberta Mason, RRU)

Creative Commons

Information within this guide was adapted from the University of Guelph's "A Guide to University Learning" and from information provided by Roberta Mason, Associate Vice-President, Student and Academic Services, Royal Roads University. These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.