Texas Tech University

Manage Your Procrastination

Most students struggle with procrastination in some way during their time in college. The key to overcoming procrastination in your life is to take active steps to identify the nature of your struggle. Your personality will cause you to procrastinate in different ways than someone else might struggle.

Below are some categories of procrastination styles that most people fit into. Try to find a category or two that resemble your usual procrastination habits and start applying the suggestions for your thought life, your actions and your speech.


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Unrealistic in use of time and energy Creative Visualization Make a to-do list Avoid Extreme Language
Everything is a difficulty Practical vs. Ideal Assign a timeline Turn "Shoulds" into "Coulds"
You fear failing Give more time to complete a task Ask for help Turn "Musts" into "Choose to"
Paralyzed at the possibility of making a mistake Give yourself the permission to fail sometimes Make one deliberate mistake each day Turn "I have to" into "I want to"


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Mental fantasies Creative Visualization Make a to-do list Turn vague passive language into concrete active language
Resist paying attention to facts and details Dreams into goals Make a plan and include a timeline Turn "Wishes" and "try to" into "wills"
Life should be good, fun and easy Guard against thinking you are more special than others Use a big, easily seen calendar Turn "Someday" and "soon" into concrete times
You see yourself as special Use the "5 W's and 1 H" Each week assign yourself one special "to-do" task Guard against make-believe talk


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Highly resistant to change Creative Visualization Break down larger tasks Avoid qualifiers
Fear of making mistakes Remember that putting off decisions is like making a decision to do nothing Read motivational books Turn "I can't do" into "I can't do...but I can do..."
Fail to commit Acknowledge that something makes you nervous Spend time with positive friends Turn "What if" into the answer and a plan
Seek lots of help from others Guard against "catastrophizing" things Attempt something that you have been putting off To "I'm waiting" add "meanwhile, I am doing"


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Must be excited to act Creative Visualization Write action plans Avoid extreme language
Dislike "dullness" Find multiple reasons to do an assignment Reward yourself for finding motivation Avoid dwelling on the negative
Like to be the focus of attention Avoid manufacturing crises Keep track (in writing) of the crises in your life Use "thinking" words instead of "feeling" words
Live on the edge Guard against extremist thoughts Get involved in adrenaline flowing activities Do not characterize yourself as "incompetent, helpless, or victimized"


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Express your hostility indirectly Creative Visualization Do what you say you are Keep your word
View life in terms of what others do View college as something that you choose to do ACT constructively Express yourself constructively
Resent authority figures Start by reasoning intelligently and practically Work WITH a team Admit your mistakes
Resist constructive self-criticism Choose your battles Get involved in activities that you have control over How you say something is as important as what you say


Overview Thinking Acting Speaking
Have difficulty saying no Creative Visualization Be PROACTIVE Practice saying NO to extra responsibilities
Take on more than you can finish View college as something that you choose to do Review your plans for ways to get things done effectively Speak in terms of choices rather than demands
Lack self-discipline Make decisions by reasoning intelligently and practically Incorporate social and personal activities Avoid describing yourself as "powerless" or "overwhelmed"
Have trouble relaxing Choose your battles Ask for help when appropriate Speak less defensively about times that you don't work hard


TTU Discovery