How To Combat Procrastination And Get Back In Control

How To Combat Procrastination And Get Back In Control

Do you have difficulties meeting appointments? Or stress about deadlines or just can’t get it done? Do you feel you could do better if you just could get back in control? Would you like to stand above things and still enjoy (student) life? Then this article is for you.

Beat Procrastination: ‘Prevent Stress and Save Energy!’

Research studies found that students report to smoke more, consume more coffee and junk while skipping sports and cleaning sessions in examination period. It’s not surprising that stress is our biggest enemy when it comes to improving self-control, in particular procrastination. According to the Resource Model of Self-control, managing stress requires lots of energy and depletes our limited regulatory resources. Therefore, it is essential to prevent stress escalation. We collected some science-proved, useful tips that will empower you to improve self-control and be at your best.

Let’s get organized: ditch procrastination and save some energy for the good stuff!

 1. Scheduled and Prioritized To-Do-List

Make use of a to-do-list which includes every single detail you have to do. It will work out much better if you include a study schedule here as well. That is, make sure you also plan in what you have to learn and not just that you have to learn. You will want to prioritize what’s urgent and what’s important on it. Then write everything down in your agenda and schedule exactly when you plan to do what. This way you won’t have to make any decisions during the day on what best to do when. This will save you lots of energy that you will need for the studying itself and procrastination will be past.

 2. Earlier Deadlines

We all know the moment when you tell yourself that if you would have just one more day it would be all perfect. Simply put deadlines earlier for yourself, write them in your agenda and take them seriously even if it seems silly to you. It will give you that extra time. Plus: You will feel ridiculously heroic when celebrating your paper while everyone else is still stressed out.

 3. Create an If-Then Mantra!

Research found that as an effective strategy using so-called implementation intentions is very helpful. Here are examples of how to formulate good ones:
‘If I have finished my dinner, I will do 30 minutes of research.’ or Every time before I go to sleep I have a look at my schedule for the next days. ‘
When making up your own If-Then mantra make sure you cover the when/where and how in order to make your mantra work. After a while you will automatically do it without requiring any energy to remember it and get more efficient.

Bye, bye procrastination!

With these three simple tips you will be on top of things, won’t miss any meeting or deadline again and will have a much more enjoyable, stress-free study or work time.

References:

Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Fostering healthy self-regulation from within and without: A self-determination theory perspective. In A. P. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 105-124). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Gollwitzer, P.M. (1999). Implementation intentions. Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54, 493–503.

Inzlicht, M., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2012). What is ego depletion? Toward a mechanistic revision of the resource model of self-control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 450-463.

Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247-259.

Oaten, M., & Cheng, K. (2006). Improved self-control: The benefits of a regular program of academic study. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1-16.

Webb, T. L., & Sheeran, P. (2003). Can implementation intentions help to overcome egodepletion? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 279-286.

 

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