From Procrastination to Productivity: How to Improve Your Academic Performance?

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From Procrastination to Productivity: How to Improve Your Academic Performance? May 12, 2023

Do you often have a long list of tasks to complete but waste the whole day by scrolling social media, watching television, or doing nothing except wasting time? 

If yes, welcome to the world of procrastination. In this world, deadlines don’t matter, and productivity always comes last on the priority list.

According to many experts, procrastination is a destructive habit that can have a negative impact on individuals from all walks of life, including students, employees, and business owners. That’s why if you also procrastinate a lot, avoid it. Otherwise, you will regret it later. 

Do you want to overcome procrastination and start living a more productive life? So, this article is for you. This article will explore what procrastination is, why people procrastinate, and how it impacts people. Finally, we will learn the best strategies to turn procrastination into productivity.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is an act of delaying various tasks deliberately, even knowing the negative consequences of it. Procrastination prevents people from completing tasks on time and lets them wait until the last minute.

In procrastination, people don’t delay the tasks because they have many other essential things to do. Instead, they only waste their time on unproductive activities like scrolling social media, listening to music, chatting with friends, watching movies and seasons, etc.

According to a study, around 80% to 95% of college students procrastinate. And only 50% of them consider it a problem. When it comes to magnitude, procrastination is more dangerous than many other habits and conditions. A study claims that more people suffer from this issue than alcoholism, depression, and other substance abuse.

Procrastination Examples:

Here are five common examples of procrastination:

  • Delaying important tasks
  • Wasting time doing nothing
  • Don’t start working on projects until the last moment
  • Doing everything except the work that is due
  • Leaving challenging tasks for others

Why Do People Procrastinate?

It is an important question to ask all those who procrastinate regularly. However, they may not be able to provide a satisfactory answer. 

Many experts have worked on this matter. And they find a few common reasons why people procrastinate. Here they are!

1. Lack of Motivation

The first thing that motivates people to procrastinate is a lack of motivation towards their work. Usually, people only need inspiration to overcome procrastinating and spend their time in productive activities. However, they don’t find that motivation anywhere. So, they keep wasting their time on unproductive and useless activities.

2. Distractions

The number of people suffering from chronic procrastination has significantly improved with time. In the 1970s, only 5% of people were suffering through it. However, in 2023, the number went up to 20%. What changed during that time? The rise in distractions. 

In the 1970s, few distractions stopped people from finishing their tasks. However, in 2023, we will have distractions everywhere. The biggest distraction is the internet and the content available on it.

3. Lack of Accountability

Another big reason behind procrastination is a lack of accountability. Many people don’t find them accountable for anything. So, they just waste their time and don’t do anything that can help them in the future. When the same people are responsible for anything, they leave procrastination, and their productivity dramatically increases. 

4. Lack of Self-Control

Lack of self-discipline is another significant factor that contributes to procrastination. Usually, you would have seen that many people without self-control suffer through this issue. They don’t procrastinate deliberately. Instead, they cannot control themselves doing it. Even if they want to avoid it, they cannot achieve this goal.

Impacts of Procrastination

Do you think procrastination doesn’t have any negative consequences? Just recall the number of opportunities you have missed just because of procrastination. That’s how you will be able to realize how it affects people.

However, the missed opportunities aren’t the only problem associated with procrastination. It also has many other negative consequences. Some of them are written below:

1. Impact Academic Performance

Procrastination is very hazardous for students, especially those in colleges and universities. It badly damages their academic performance and reputation. 

Unfortunately, many students have a habit of wasting time and waiting until the last minute to start working on their projects and assignments. And when they have no time left, they try to find shortcuts and forget everything about academic integrity. Ultimately, it affects their academic performance.

2. Missed Opportunities

It is the most obvious drawback of procrastination. People usually miss a lot of opportunities due to this bad habit. Their procrastination doesn’t let them take required actions that can help them avail different opportunities. Instead, they waste their time, and when they miss those opportunities, they regret them later. Still, many don’t stop procrastinating.

3. Increased Stress

Procrastination can also lead people to stress. Many experts claim that although it is not a medical condition, it can lead people to stress and anxiety. When people don’t achieve their goals due to procrastination, they start overthinking, eventually becoming the major cause of stress and depression.

4. Increased Workload

When people don’t manage their time and waste it doing nothing, they gradually increase their workload. And at the last moment, they must rush to complete their task. At that time, many make a lot of blunders that impact their reputation. So to keep the workload manageable, people must overcome procrastination. 

5. Decreased Productivity

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of productivity. Procrastinators waste their time and leave everything for the last moments. And when those moments arrive, many usually panic and don’t know how to manage their work. It leads them to make wrong decisions and leaves productivity and creativity aside. Instead, their only goal is to finish the tasks by hook or crook.

How to Overcome Procrastination to Improve Academic Performance?

If you are a chronic procrastinator and want to know how to stop procrastinating, the tips below are only written for you. These practical tips to overcome procrastinating can help you be more productive and improve your academic performance.

1. Get Rid of Distractions

If you seriously want to beat procrastination, get rid of all the distractions around you. These distractions are not the sources of entertainment and fun; they are the sources of depression and stress. Although these distractions are very attractive, they can eventually damage you. So, it’s time to say goodbye to them.

Even in case, if you cannot get rid of them permanently, keep them aside when you’re working or when you decide to start your work. Otherwise, you won’t be able to finish your work on time and keep yourself busy with those distractions. 

These days, mobile phones are the mother of all distractions. Almost everything that distracts people is installed on this device. So, keep it on AirPlane Mode while you are working. This trick will help you leave procrastination.

2. Make Your Work More Fun

Most people don’t want to work because they find their work boring. They don’t enjoy their time while working. It happens to almost everyone, even those who don’t procrastinate. 

However, there is an excellent solution to the problem. Start enjoying your work or make your work more fun than ever. The moment you start to enjoy your work, procrastination leaves you, and you can express your creativity.

In the case of academic assignments and research, students take their assignments as a burden. As a student, you should change your mentality and realize that when writing those assignments, you learn many new things that are helpful for you. That’s how you can stop procrastinating.

3. Challenge Yourself

Challenging yourself can also do wonders when it comes to beating procrastination. As humans, we get self-motivation whenever someone challenges us. Similarly, when you challenge yourself, you automatically increase your motivation and complete the task on time.

On the other hand, when you are relaxed and don’t challenge yourself, you unknowingly demotivate yourself and go deeper into procrastination. That’s why you should keep challenging yourself and your abilities. Otherwise, you won’t be able to become productive.

4. Design an Action Plan

If you want to know how not to procrastinate, here is an excellent tip for you. Design an action plan. When you create an action plan, you have a clear road map in front of you. The roadmap keeps you on track and motivated to finish your daily tasks. Moreover, it also helps you know how much is left to complete your tasks.

For example, if you are writing a thesis, which can be a very tedious task for many students, creating a clear action plan can help you stay on track and know what you need to accomplish each day.

Moreover, it can help you learn when you have to complete the introduction chapter when you need to finish the literature review and other chapters. That’s how you can achieve your desired goals without procrastinating.

5. Access Your Performance

As a student, accessing your previous performance can also encourage you to leave procrastination. For instance, as a student, when you know your grades aren’t satisfactory and you want to improve them, it can work as a motivator.  

To learn what grade points you require to maintain a good average, you can take the assistance of an online grade calculator. It can help you keep on track and avoid procrastination.

On the other hand, when you don’t have a clear idea about what you need to improve your overall grades, you won’t be able to leave procrastination and find motivation anywhere. So, keep track of your current and previous performance frequently to become productive and break all bad habits that prevent you from doing anything.

6. Create Deadlines for Yourself

Setting some easy-to-achieve deadlines is another excellent way to turn procrastination into productivity. When you don’t have deadlines, you get demotivated to do any task and start wasting your time on useless activities, including listening to music, going with friends, and watching TV shows.

Having clear deadlines, on the other hand, encourages you to keep going and put some extra time into productive work. It ultimately helps you run faster than the deadlines. Additionally, using this technique, you can not only complete academic work on time, but also achieve good grades, as there is ample time for revision.

7. Start with Easy Tasks

Do you know why procrastinators run away from productive work, primarily academic assignments? Because they don’t want to do complicated tasks. They want to avoid those tasks as much as possible. So, they find an escape from those tasks in procrastination. However, they must realize that they have to complete them sooner or later.

There is an easy way to avoid procrastination and complete academic projects on time. And that way is starting from easy tasks. When you start with easy tasks and complete them, you get extra motivation and a sense of achievement. And that sense of accomplishment helps you work daily and finish your assignments on time. In contrast, when you start with challenging tasks, you immediately get demotivated and find shelter in procrastination.

8. Set Rewards for Yourself

By setting rewards, people, especially students, can overcome procrastination and turn that into productivity. The reward system always works no matter what kind of work you do. When people know their work will help them achieve certain things, their motivation always multiplies.

To understand this phenomenon, just see around you; millions of people are doing the jobs they don’t want to do, just for one thing: the reward they get in terms of salary or bonus. Similarly, if you want to motivate yourself to do any task and leave procrastination, set some rewards for yourself. Those rewards could be anything, like a break, trip, meetup, new clothes, device, etc. 

9. Improve Your Environment

Your surroundings and environment also play a role in avoiding procrastination. When you have a lot of distractions in your surroundings, you won’t be able to focus on your tasks. Moreover, when the environment is uncomfortable, it keeps you distracted and lets you focus on everything other than your work. That’s why it is essential to improve your overall environment.

Try to work in a peaceful room with no noises of any kind. Moreover, you should also maintain a suitable temperature. Besides, you should have a comfortable chair and desk that can help you focus on work, not anything else. That’s how you can easily forget about every distraction and focus on tasks that are more important than any other thing.

10. Learn to Manage Your Time

Time management is essential to avoid procrastination. Many consider procrastination as the after-effect of lousy time management. On the other hand, productivity is usually the outcome of excellent time management skills. Therefore, if you learn to manage your time perfectly, you can easily overcome procrastination. 

In academic work, if you create a timeline and stay consistent, every task is manageable. The deadlines are extended, and the work is usually outside the time your students have. It’s the bad time management that creates a problem for students. In case you set realistic day-to-day goals, you can easily combat procrastination and achieve anything you want.