Your Study Guides and Strategies starts here!

He who puts off nothing
till tomorrow
has done a great deal
Baltasar Gracián 1601 - 56
Spanish priest/author

Time and project management series

Avoiding procrastination

Is your procrastination related to a project?
or is it a habit?

To remedy procrastination:

  1. Begin with one, modest project
  2. Answer these basic questions
  3. Keep the answers before you as you mark your progress

What do you want to do?

  • What is the final objective, the end result?
    It may be obvious, or not
  • What are the major steps to get there?
    Don't get too detailed: think big
  • What have you done so far?
    Acknowledge that you are already part of the way,
    even if it is through thinking!
    The longest journey begins with a first step

Why do you want to do this?

  • What is your biggest motivation?
    Do not concern yourself if your motivation is negative!
    This is honest and a good beginning.
    However, if your motivation is negative,
    re-phrase and re-work it until it is phrased positively
  • What other positive results will flow from achieving your goal?
    Identifying these will help you uncover
    benefits that you may be avoiding: Dare to dream!

List out what stands in your way

  • What is in your power to change?
  • What resources outside yourself do you need?
    Resources are not all physical (i.e. tools and money),
    and include time, people/professionals/elders, even attitude
  • What will happen if you don't progress?
    It won't hurt to scare yourself a little...

Create a simple "To Do" list
This simple program will help you identify a few tasks, the reason for doing them, a timeline for getting them done, and then printing this simple list and posting it for reminders.

Develop your plan, list

  • Major, realistic steps
    A project is easier when it is built in stages;
    Start small;
    Add detail and complexity as you achieve and grow
  • How much time each will take
    A schedule helps you keep a progress chart
    and reinforce that there are way-stations on your path
  • What time of day, week, etc. you dedicate yourself
    to work. This helps you
    develop a new habit of working,
    build a good work environment, and
    distance distractions (It is much easier to enjoy your project when distractions are set aside.)
  • Rewards you will have at each station
    and also what you will deny yourself until you arrive at each station
  • Build in time for review
    Find a trusted friend, elder, or expert to help you
    motivate yourself or monitor progress

Admit to:

  • False starts and mistakes as learning experiences
    They can be more important than successes,
    and give meaning to "experience"
  • Distractions and escapes
    Do not deny they exist, but deny their temptation
  • Emotion
    Admit to frustration when things don't seem to be going right
    Admit that you have had a problem, but also that you are doing something about it
  • Fantasy
    See yourself succeeding

Finally, if procrastination is a habit of yours:
Focus on the immediate task and project, and build up from there.
Each journey begins with one step.


Time management series

Time management | My daily schedule | My weekly schedule |
Scheduling my school calendar | My goals | Organizing my tasks |
Creating to-do lists | Avoiding procrastination | Developing self-discipline