Start main page content


Don’t wait till tomorrow to beat it! Eat a frog image for article on procrastination

Aim to “eat a frog” first thing, every day! Not literally, of course, but get your worst task out of the way first!

What IS procrastination?

In a nutshell, procrastination is putting off things you should be doing, in favour of things you’d rather be doing - often because they’re more fun or you feel that you’re better at other tasks.

YOU are not alone!

If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some extent - but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them finishing important assignments, or studying for exams.

Okay, but what can you do?

The first step to a more organised, productive and fun student life is to recognise that you are prone to procrastinating. Consider some of the reasons for your particular type of procrastinating, understand why it happens (even to the best of us!) and take active steps to managing your time and resources better. Procrastinating often leads to feeling guilty when spending time with friends or engaging in fun activities, which makes this time less fun than it could be.

Take Control NOW!

Ask yourself

Am I filling my days with unimportant tasks? Is this the 20th time I’ve checked my e-mails/Instagram/Twitter/WhatsApp… in the last hour? Have I sat down to work on my assignment and almost immediately gone to make a cup of coffee? Do I leave assignments or studying till the very last minute, every time?

Figure out WHY?

Is the task at hand unpleasant? Difficult? Boring? Are you disorganised? Never been very good at planning or time-management? Are you overwhelmed? Are you a perfectionist? Do you battle with decision-making?

If you have a genuinely good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastination. BUT if you’re simply “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are!

Procrastination is a habit…

… and habits can be changed! It’s probably taken you a while to get into the habit of putting things off until the last minute, so change won’t happen overnight. Habits only stop when you have doggedly stopped practising them, so use as many methods as possible to increase your chances of breaking the habit, being more productive, and ultimately, being less stressed!

Overwhelmed? Take a different approach

If you’re putting off starting a project because you find it overwhelming, you need to take a different approach. Here are some tips:

  • Break the project into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these aren’t the logical first actions. You’ll feel that you’re achieving things and feel less overwhelmed.
If you’re doing it because you find the task unpleasant
  • Many procrastinators overestimate the unpleasantness of a task. So give it a try… you may find that it’s not as bad as you thought!
  • Keep the unpleasant consequences of not doing the task at the front of your mind.
  • Reward yourself for doing the task.