How Can Students Avoid Procrastination

Every student has, at some point, wished just to relax and put off doing anything relevant to their studies. On the other hand, procrastination is a trait that some people tend to develop when they do this more often than necessary. By definition, procrastination is the deliberate delay of doing essential tasks. It is one of the main reasons why students cram and one of the things that can create academic stress and burnout. Humans tend to procrastinate since it’s in our nature to want to put things off. Nevertheless, it’s best to limit how much procrastination one engages in regularly.

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What does procrastination look like in students?

Some people put things off because they don’t understand that deadlines can overlap and think they have a lot more time than they actually have. Some people, on the other hand, tend to just jam everything in since they have already become accustomed to the task and procrastinate virtually immediately after it is assigned.

For those who are unaware, procrastination can be characterized as delaying an assignment that needs to be completed by the end of the next week, even if you have no other assignments or exams to complete. The fact that you still have a week before the assignment is due makes you complacent and causes you to put it off, but you don’t prepare for the possibility that your teachers will assign you additional work, leaving you with little to no time to complete the assigned task.

While this may not seem significant at all, try to picture this happening during finals, when you still need to complete the final project to move forward and most of your classes have exams to study for. It becomes a complex maze of prioritizing tasks and scheduling adequate time to complete each by the due date. And it never seems to be a pretty sight.

What are the effects of procrastination?

Just as the concept invented by Edward N. Lorenz known as the “Butterfly Effect” highlights the possibility of small actions having momentous effects, the same can be said for the effects of procrastination on the individual who procrastinated. Even something as easy as delaying a few tasks that must be completed the next week can result in an excessively busy schedule, which can cause stress, exhaustion, ill health, and a noticeable drop in academic performance.

Over time, each of these consequences could be harmful to your body because your body’s ability to regenerate itself decreases the more of these you experience. It’s also possible to form the poor habit of putting off daily chores in addition to academic ones, which can cause a variety of issues for you and those around you.

How to Deal With Academic Burnout

How can students avoid procrastination?

Now that you are fully aware of the rabbit hole that procrastination may lead you to, here are a few tips on how to avoid procrastination and become much more productive.

1. Organize what needs to be done

You have heard it over and over again and may or may not have listened to the tip of organizing the things you need to do, but this is by far, one of the best ways to start if you want to avoid procrastination.

Jot down your to-do list according to priority rather than deadline. By doing this, you’ve taken control of your own schedule and determined when you will do your tasks rather than completing them whenever you feel like it. Never underestimate the power of a well-organized and properly done list of activities, as it is what often keeps you from slacking off and delaying the creation of your homework. Your list doesn’t have to be perfect if you are new to making one, however, it must be followed to the utmost best of your abilities.

2. Create a timetable

Making a schedule is comparable to the first tip. The main distinction is that a timeline has a more aesthetically pleasant appearance than a simple list. Because you may color code particular tasks or subjects according to your preferences, you can also better grasp your schedule.

Keeping you away from the mindset of “Doing it whenever I feel like doing it.” and toward a “What should I do next?” is the aim of this mindset. By doing this, you can reduce the likelihood that you will put off completing your assigned tasks because you will have a set amount of time to do them. If you don’t finish in that time, you might be required to turn in an incomplete report or essay.

3. Set deadlines earlier than the actual deadline

You can add deadlines to your list or timetable if you find that, despite having a list, you still prefer to put things off since there isn’t a deadline that is approaching. Here’s the trick to avoiding procrastination, though: establish deadlines earlier than expected. Nothing beats the procrastination out of a student than a fast-approaching deadline, except that the deadline you set is false and earlier than what was announced.

This motivates you to complete your work ahead of schedule in order to reach your “deadline.” By leveraging your fictitious deadline to generate a false sense of danger, you reduce the likelihood that you will truly desire to put off doing a task.

4. Prioritize time-consuming tasks

Setting priorities for time-consuming tasks is the next piece of advice we’ll provide you to help you avoid procrastinating. Long assignments are primarily to blame for students’ discouragement and lack of enthusiasm in completing the work, which can result in procrastination. You can rule out the non-enjoyable activities and make it possible for you to complete basic jobs quickly and easily after you finish the time-consuming ones, like creating a 3D model of your city or writing a six-page essay about John Wick and his dog.

5. Set achievable goals

Yes, you can avoid procrastination by setting achievable goals. This is because you give yourself something to look forward to. By doing so, you can then have more motivation to do and finish the tasks given to you by your professors. If you also achieve the goals you set, then you also gain feelings of satisfaction and completion as you have succeeded in the goal you set. This will create more enthusiasm for your academic activities and thus prevent procrastination.

6. Take much-needed breaks

Procrastination typically has an opposite extreme, which is overwork. You can take short pauses periodically to ease weary muscles and give your brain a rest if you feel like you have been working too much. This also lessens the likelihood that engaging in academic pursuits would cause you to burn out. It’s not a sign of procrastination to occasionally take a break. You have, however, turned back into the procrastination machine you have worked so hard to fight if you take too many breaks and wind up slacking off. Take breaks sparingly and only when absolutely necessary; they shouldn’t be an excuse to put off tasks any longer.

By taking breaks every now and then, you rule out the part of your brain that constantly tells you that you are tired. If your body is not feeling tired, then you are most likely to avoid procrastinating as you lack a valid reason to do so.

7. Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself when you complete a task is another strategy to assist you avoid procrastinating. It’s true that the first few times you feel like a puppy learning a new trick, but the benefits it leaves to prevent procrastination make it worthwhile to attempt.

Receiving a reward stimulates the area of your brain that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, which may encourage you to approach academic work in a more optimistic manner. Consequently, this prevents you from putting off tasks you enjoy completing, thus you are less likely to procrastinate. Plus, it’s always a good idea to treat yourself after putting in a lot of effort; you’ll probably get favorable outcomes from it.

8. Maintain the routine

Maintaining the routine is the final piece of advice we can provide you. If you try to avoid procrastinating and don’t see benefits in the first few days or weeks, that’s not too surprising. However, it would be wise to stick to your schedule. After a few months, you should be able to observe that you are completing assignments on time and not putting them off. After all, developing a habit takes longer than two months, especially if you want it to endure a lifetime.


Students frequently struggle with procrastination, which frequently results in stress, burnout, and subpar academic achievement. Acknowledging the consequences of delaying assignments, it’s important to start using strategies to reduce procrastination. Prioritizing work based on importance, making a schedule, establishing early deadlines, ranking time-consuming assignments, and establishing realistic goals are all useful strategies. Taking pauses and rewarding yourself after you finish chores are other ways to improve productivity and motivation. It takes time to develop enduring habits that combat procrastination, so sticking to a routine is crucial. Students can increase their academic performance and time-management skills by putting these techniques into practice.


Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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