New Year, New You: 8 Hacks to Ditch Procrastination in 2016

It is said that between 80 and 95 percent of college students procrastinate on their school work. Some students feel they work well under pressure. They use procrastination as a fuel of urgency to get work done. While others simply procrastinate out of fear of failure. Either way, it is an epidemic that sends millions of college students running to the library to cram a semester’s load of work into one all-nighter come every midterm and finals week.

This is seriously unhealthy behavior. It leads to lack of sleep, undue stress, and makes us feel like we’re just surviving instead of actually evolving as college students.  There’s a USC student who’s had enough of bragging about all-nighters and “just holding up” as a college student. She’s making one major change next semester.  And we should too.

With 2016 being just around the corner, it’s only fitting to start planning some “new you” goals.  Ditch procrastination next year and start enjoying the rest of your college career.  Here’s how:

1. Be realistic

While your to-do list may be skyrocketing into space, your mindset can be eased with some slight alterations on how you are compromising with yourself. Take a detailed look at what lies on your plate and ask yourself, “Can I really get all this done?” With starting to ask yourself realistic questions to break down the fat, not only are you decreasing the amount of work on your never-ending list, you are training your brain to focus on the important stuff.

2. Knock out the hard stuff first

There’s nothing like the first look of a to-do list and the immediate overwhelming feeling that takes over. Find the top three things that stick out and conquer them all first. The minute the hard stuff is out of the way your list will begin to look and feel more manageable.

3. Write it all down (and take breaks)

Balancing school, work, and play can leave your mental thought processes in a twisted frenzy. Maybe you have a huge test on Wednesday, dinner with your family and friends Tuesday night, and you’re scheduled to work Monday night. The key here – write it all down, and in the process of writing it down, fill in the gaps with some time outs. Despite where you are in your life, to-do lists and breaks are necessary to help you stay on schedule.

4. Support, support, support

In the world of procrastination it takes two to tango effectively. The next time you feel the sting of putting anything and everything off try turning to someone in your life that will push you to get things done. The more you surround yourself with people that will inspire you to progress and get ahead the brighter (and lighter) your “to-do” future will be.

5. Switch up your stomping grounds

Are you guilty of ending up in the same spots the minute you decide to finally sit down and tackle your to-do list? Next time you find yourself in the same rut, try branching out to the café on the other side of campus, or maybe even the Starbucks off campus. Switching up your normal regimen can sometimes help illuminate creativity and new inspiration.

6. Turn “have-to-do” into “want-to-do”

I get it, the older you get the more certain things begin feeling like they “have-to” get done. The next time you catch yourself repeating this daunting negative ring in your mind, switch the “have-to-do” to “want-to-do.”  Researchers say it’s important to start understanding the emotions involved with procrastination in order to start eliminating it. Stay positive!

7. Pat yourself on the back

Self-motivation is key on the road to eliminating procrastination. Give yourself goals with what needs to be done in certain time frames. Allot out times for rewarding yourself as certain things are accomplished. Sometimes, all it takes is a little incentive to get it done.

8. Say goodbye to distractions

The enemy of all enemies when you are pressed for time and need to get things done, is the wrath of distraction. Try giving yourself a 30 minute break from your phone or even a 15 minute time out from music or background noise of any sort. It’s a known fact that avoiding distractions equals more productivity. Stay focused!


Talk to us! Have you ever dealt with lingering procrastination in your life? What types of things have you tried to do to eliminate it? What is your plan of action to avoid it this spring semester?

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