Best Ways to Prevent Academic Procrastination

There is nothing wrong with procrastinating from time to time or regularly. Approximately 15 to 20% of adults are procrastinators, and 25% consider it a personality trait they must constantly overcome as a stress-inducing habit. College students are even more prone to procrastination than the general population. Most college students occasionally procrastinate, while about 70% consider themselves chronic procrastinators.

It might be comforting to know you aren’t alone, but it will not compensate for the negative consequences of delaying important tasks. Let’s take a closer look at procrastination to see how you can become more time-efficient.

Prepare a Checklist

According to a 2010 academic study, students who self-monitor themselves are less likely to procrastinate. Therefore, you will probably stop procrastinating if you regularly review your progress. A checklist is an excellent method of self-monitoring. When you use a list, you can set small goals and track your progress by checking them off as you complete them.

For extra motivation, you can even schedule activities by time or day. The longer-term task list consists of bigger-picture tasks with little urgency on the horizon. You should save this list on your desktop and refer to it frequently. Put one long-term task on your daily to-do list. It’ll prevent you from leaving big ones to the last minute, such as writing an extensive essay or preparing for a test. Consider including long-term tasks in your daily to-do list ‌to avoid stress and backlog.

Put Your Phone Away

The problem with our smartphones is that they can impede studying for an exam despite how much we love them. Procrastination can start with a quick check on social media and quickly escalate to an entire evening spent on it. It would be best to leave your phone at home while studying, so you don’t experience this.

During your study breaks, you can use your phone as a reward, but set time limits to prevent getting carried away with each app. You can also install extensions or apps to your browser that limit your exposure to social media and other non-academic sites to stay focused on your studies.

Organize Tasks Into Bite-Sized Chunks

You can continually put off a task requiring much effort and time. To solve this issue, break your mammoth task up into bite-sized chunks. Try to break the big ones into five- to fifteen-minute tasks. Breaking tasks is a great way to make a checklist. Your chances of completing them increase as it gets smaller.

Here are several strategies to accomplish university-related tasks:

  • Whenever you feel stuck writing an essay, list your key points in the order you want to write them. After that, you have to complete one key point at a time. Depending on each key point’s length, you may ‌write it in less than five minutes. After that, you can walk away and take some time off before proceeding.
  • Taking notes on the essential points of the small section you are focusing on will make it easier to look over them when you return to it so that you can quickly remember what you discussed earlier.
  • It is crucial to find quality sources when writing an essay. Give You can dedicate a 10-minute time limit. Find academic articles like these NYU documents here relevant to your topic and your university’s online library catalog. By browsing the abstracts and saving the most relevant ones, you should find five sources in 10 minutes.

If you break down your tasks into bite-sized chunks, you’ll want to go on after completing your 5- to 10-minute task.

Take Advantage of the Time in Between

It can be hard to find the time to study if you juggle a part-time job and a busy university schedule. If you can create in a few minutes of revision during the small intervals in your day, that’s up to you.

You can listen to some revision material on your headphones while you wait for your next class or while you’re on the bus to university. You will save yourself the stress of having to revise everything at the last minute if you do any revisions ahead of time.

Your Hard Work Deserves Rewards

Balancing work with fun activities is vital to stay motivated and avoid burnout. For all the hours you devote to getting the grades you want, it is only fair that you be rewarded.

It would be best to reward yourself after you’ve completed some hours of work or accomplished one of your goals. If you feel like treating yourself to something, it could be something as simple as a coffee, dinner, or watching a new Netflix movie.


It’s not easy to stop procrastinating as a college student, but there are several behaviors and habits that you can develop to help you overcome this problem. Therefore, if you’re a frequent procrastinator or stuck more often than before, think about why. You can then practice some of the above suggestions to overcome mental hurdles.

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