Procrastination is the ability to reorder tasks of high importance with ones of less importance, which is usually to the benefit of the person at hand. For example, if a person is faced with the task of filling out dreaded tax returns, vacuuming, dusting, and washing clothes might all be completed before the person gets round to sitting down with the calculator.

In the life of a student, procrastination is rife. Students live a life full of deadlines, coursework and research, only to be constantly tempted by activities which definitely sound more fun to do. Thus, procrastination is a student’s worst enemy, and it takes a truly powerful mind to overcome it.

So, how do you battle this terrific monster? Here are some of the top ways for students to slay the evil beast of procrastination:

RelatedUnderstanding Procrastination

The Causes of Student Procrastination

To truly combat procrastination, one must understand why the procrastination is occurring. For students this can be down to a few things:

  • Environment – Living with roommates can be tough sometimes because they may present many avenues of procrastination by just being there. The bitter truth of it is that fun roommates are distracting roommates.
  • Making it perfect — Unfortunately nobody is perfect, so trying to write a flawless paper may hinder your efforts rather than stimulate them.
  • Overwhelmed — If you have too many deadlines on without a set plan of how to go about them, your mind will just crumble into a babbling anxious mess. This is where watching films/TV/YouTube for inspiration may start happening.
  • Boring — Unfortunately you are not going to like every bit of work set out by your teachers.
  • Getting motivated — If a student experiences most of the above points, they will feel their motivation slowly being sapped out them.

By knowing the causes of procrastination, it is possible to stop the signs of them in their tracks before it’s too late. Otherwise a few hours may have passed because you have done the weekly shop for the second time this week.

Related: What Motivates Top Students?

Fighting Procrastination

Keeping procrastination at bay is no easy feat for students. Certain preventative measures must be put in place to make sure that one is not led down the garden path of procrastination. Essentially, the key to fighting procrastination is being organized and vigilant with your time management skills. Analyze how procrastination affects you on a personal basis by taking these tips into consideration:

  • For large and overwhelming task at hand, find ways of breaking them into smaller, more achievable units.
  • For those of you who find it hard to work from within your dormitory when people are drinking shots of vodka outside your door, remove yourself to the library. The library is a peaceful place to work, full of like-minded people who just want to get the job done. And of course, the library is a source of knowledge; you can find inspiration on most shelves.
  • Discussing work with your teachers or classmates can be very helpful when you have hit a problem area in your work.
  • Always keep in mind your merits when lacking in motivation. This small trick can sometimes give you a well-needed boost.
  • Writing something, even if it is terrible, is always better than writing nothing; editing is key.
  • Work on your time management skills and make sure you have regular breaks, are not overworked and that you actually schedule having fun. If you don’t, you might crash and burn.

As you can see, procrastination can be fought. Always keep in mind the reasons that you may be procrastinating, place yourself in an inspirational environment and get to work. Going out for a big night on a town is never a good way to complete a 5000-word essay!


How are you dealing with your own procrastination? Let us know in the comments below.


About the Author: Daniel Kendal is a recent graduate, writer, and marketer. He credits the Telegraph’s Clearing service with helping him find his place at university.


Image: Corie Howell