Skip to Main Content

Time Management: Avoiding Procrastination

Ideas on how to organize your time, how to avoid procrastinating, and how to effectively use term, weekly, and daily schedules.

Avoiding Procrastination

Video: How to Stop Procrastinating

Video: Crash Course Study Skills #6 - Procrastination

The Pomodoro Technique - Procrastination Hack

"The Pomodoro Technique" Infographic. Details in text following image.

The Pomodoro Technique

Named after the Italian word for "tomato" because the timer used by the technique's creator was shaped as a tomato!

  1. Pick a task
  2. Set the timer for 25 minutes
  3. Get to work - no distractions
  4. Stop when time is up
  5. Record progress
  6. Take a 5 minute break
  7. Get back to work - repeat previous steps
  8. After the fourth pomodoro, take a longer break (15-30 minutes)
  9. Continue likewise until calling it a day!

Video: How to Make Yourself Study When You Have Zero Motivation

Building Motivation to Avoid Procrastination

"7 Ways to Stay Motivated" Infographic. Details in text following image.

7 Ways to Stay Motivated

Two types of motivation: Intrinsic (arises from inside the individual) and Extrinsic (comes from outside the individual).

Motivation has three components: activation (decision to do something), intensity (amount of energy that goes into doing it), and perseverance (how long you can keep up the effort).

  1. If You're Afraid of Failure: It's a matter of perspective.
  2. If It's Too Boring: Focus on the task instead of the time.
  3. If You Just Don't Feel Like It: You can't plan your moods, but you can plan your day.
  4. If You're Too Tired: Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally.
  5. If You Don't Know Where to Start: Create a to-do list.
  6. If You Just Have Too Much to Do: Get rid of any unnecessary commitments.
  7. If You Don't See the Point: Be clear on the end goal.


Video: 5 Proven Methods to Beat Procrastination

"15 Ways to Beat Procrastination" Infographic. Details in text following image.

15 Ways to Beat Procrastination

  1. Know Yourself. Understand how procrastination affects your life. Think about the habits that often cause it.
  2. Practice Effective Time Management. Create estimates for completing assignments. Compare accuracy of estimates across tasks.
  3. Change Your Perspective. Think about what attracted you to your assignments. Look beyond the grades to what interests you.
  4. Commit to Assignments. List tasks that you're confident you will complete. Make a point of crossing each task off. 
  5. Work in Productive Environments. Choose where you work and with who, wisely. Don't study in places filled with distractions.
  6. Be Realistic. Set reasonable targets to measure achievement. Be patient, change won't come overnight.
  7. Self-Talk Positively. Notice how you talk to yourself when procrastinating. Replace negative talk with positive.
  8. Un-Schedule. Develop a flexible schedule that only includes important tasks. Keep plenty of time free for extracurricular activities.
  9. Swiss-Cheese Tasks. Devote small chunks of time to a big task. Achieve as much as possible, without pressure. 
  10. Don't Indulge in Fantasies. Stop fantasizing about desired results. Instead, devise practical steps to achieve them.
  11. Plan for Obstacles. List possible obstacle for completing assignments. Plan countermeasures.
  12. Improve Learning Behavior. Focus less on gratification in the present. Focus more on learning for the future.
  13. Help Yourself. Ask your roommates or family not to indulge your habit. If you mess up, deal with the consequences alone.
  14. Reward Progress. Create a reward system to celebrate successful tasks. Similarly, arrange small punishments for failures.
  15. Learn to Forgive Yourself. If you slip up, don't be hard on yourself. Understand that there is no quick-fix solution.

Pilgrim Library:   
  Click the purple "Ask Us" side tab above