are 7 strategies you can use to eliminate
procrastination. The suggestions are tied to the days of
the week to help you recall.
Make it Meaningful.
Why is that job
important? If you have been putting off something, take a minute
to list all the benefits of completing the task. Look at the job
in the perspective of your goals. Write down the task you have
been avoiding, then, below it, write your reason for doing it.
Relate the task to your goals, and be specific about the payoffs
Take it apart.
Break big jobs
into small, manageable parts. Then be determined to complete one
of those tasks. Make each task something you can accomplish in 15
minutes or less. Make the results measurable so you can see your
progress. If a long reading assignment intimidates you, break it
into two- or three-page sections, list the sections, then cross
off each section as you complete it. Give yourself a visual
experience of getting something done.
Write an intention statement.
Use an intention
statement in conjunction with a small task you have created. Write
your statement on 3X5 card, and carry it with you or post it in
your study area where you can see it often.
For example, if you have a term paper to write and can't seem to
get started, write yourself an intention statement that says, "I
intend to write a list of at least ten possible topics for my term
paper by 9 pm. I will reward myself with an hour of guilt- free
intention publicly. Tell a friend. Tell your spouse, roommate,
parents, or children. Telling the world of your intention is an
excellent technique to ensure its completion. Make the world your
Find a reward.
Rewards can be
difficult to construct. A reward must be something that you would
genuinely withhold from yourself if you did not earn it. Don't
pick a movie as a reward if you plan to go to anyway. If you don't
complete what you set out to do, and go to the movie anyway, the
movie would be an ineffective reward. When you legitimately reap
your reward, notice how it feels. You may find that movies,
clothes, or an extra hour studying one of your favorite subjects
are more enjoyable when you feel like you've earned
Settle it, now.
Do it now. The
minute you notice yourself procrastinating, plunge into the task.
Imagine yourself at a mountain lake, poised to dive. Gradual
immersion would be slow torture. It's often less painful to
Then be sure to savor the feeling of having the task behind
When you notice
yourself continually pushing a task into the low-priority
category, re-examine the purpose for doing it at all. If you
realize that you really don't intend to do something, quit telling
yourself that you will. That's procrastinating. Tell the truth and
drop it. Then you're not procrastinating, and you don't have to
carry around the baggage of an undone task.
Adapted from: Becoming a Master Student, by David
Ellis. (College Survival, Inc. 1984)