How to Avoid Procrastination in Academic Matters

Whether you're in elementary school, middle school, high school or even college, do you commonly find yourself in situations where you think, "I should have started this earlier," or in other words, are you a procrastinator? Is this habit affecting your grades, relationships with teachers, or your amount of sleep? Follow the tips in this article to help you fix this issue.


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    Take notes and/or pay attention in class so you know what is going on during school! Nothing's worse that realizing you have to write an essay or do a report on something you have not been paying attention to. This will help you avoid getting lectured by the instructor for slacking off.
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    Try to know what you are doing ahead of time. If your teacher is outright hinting that there will be a project or seems not to be giving out assignments often, there may be an upcoming large test or quiz.
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    Once the teacher actually assigns whatever it is, immediately read over what you have to do the day it is given and make sure you fully understand it. If you have any questions, ask the teacher! They'll be impressed by your initiative and wouldn't deny a student knowledge. That's their job. If a teacher is absolutely unavailable, ask a friend who knows what they're doing, or try to email the teacher; it actually works most of the time.
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    Make a schedule, and don't make it unreasonable. If you try to do the whole project at once the day it's due, you'll be rushed and tempted to do a worse job just because you want to get it over with. If it's due in over a month, just work a little bit a day on it. If it's due in a week, then maybe set up a time every night to complete a major part of it. Design the schedule in a way that allows time for any activities you can't cancel, like other academic things, and make it so you have at least a bit of downtime-- the other teachers may still be giving you tests, and you have to be able to study. Do your other homework before you start work on the project, unless it's urgent.
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    Start your project. As you go along, make a checklist of things you have done and still need to do. This helps you map out what you are about to complete or what you have completed so far.
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    The final week or series of days before the project is due, don't schedule anything major with your friends, and try to decline invitations to things that you can skip, such as a party. It can be tempting to invite your pals over for a movie night or spend a day at the mall, but afterwards, you're going to feel pretty bad that you didn't work on the assignment. If they're your real friends, when you tell them about your project, they'll understand and give you a break.
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    Get a sufficient amount of sleep the week before the project is due. If that is impossible because you must wake early/go to bed late, try to take naps when you can.
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    Finish your project and go to bed knowing you're done. Turn it in the next day with a smile!


  • If the project is an essay, read the part of the book you have to write the essay on or find evidence ahead of time immediately after the teacher gives out the work. If the project is a report, get all your information the few days after the project. Then, all you have to do is put it together!
  • Don't identify yourself as "a procrastinator." Remember, you CAN change, and you will if you follow these steps!
  • Make it fun! View the assignment in a positive light; or at least don't spend more time whining about it than actually doing it.
  • If your project requires a bibliography, or "works cited," keep a list of the sites you have used or use a web site to maintain a log. This saves tons of time at the end of the project.
  • Do not make staying up late for schoolwork a constant habit. It will make you miserable because you will fall into a vicious cycle of not paying attention in class because you're tired, to not listening, to not doing a project until late, to staying up again.... This circle is very hard to break once you have done it a lot.
  • Make your computer a "work tool only" during the time you're doing your project. If you're using the Internet to look things up while you work, make sure that you're logged out of distracting websites like Facebook and Youtube, or just don't have tabs open with those sites. It's easy to get swept away doing something else.
    • If an all-nighter is unavoidable, drink tea, not coffee (less caffeine) and take breaks every hour or so to stretch. Keep your workspace well-lit and maybe set a phone alarm to keep you awake. Whatever you do, do NOT lay on your bed when working, as falling asleep is too easy. Sit in a hard-backed chair or on a stool.
  • Remind yourself that you want to do well in this course and you want to gain the approval of someone, whether it be yourself, your teacher, even your parents! This may create a further drive to do well.
  • Study your notes nightly. It can be hard to get in the time, but if you just spend 15 minutes a day looking over your textbook or notebook, you will know what you're doing in more detail before you actually are even given the project.

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Categories: Improving And Maintaining Grades