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Written by Dr. Dee

September 10, 2020

Taking Control of Procrastination as an Online Learner

 

Yeah, I think I’ll do that tomorrow

 

Do you often put things off?  Do you hear yourself saying I will get to that later?  I believe this happens to everyone.  Even I have been procrastinating writing blogs since the Coronavirus hit back in March.  A month after the pandemic arrived, I broke my ankle and had to have surgery, so I was then using this as my excuse not to sit down and start writing.  So, what lit the fire under my feet to continue with my blog you might be asking – demand and priorities.  I have found many students viewing my website and social media page leaving positive comments.  When I see students in need, I put them first, so here I am.

Procrastination is not being lazy.  It is doing other tasks in lieu of the one that you should be doing.  I also often use the excuse that I’m a single mother of two boys taking care of a house and working full-time putting my writing on the back burner.  The first thing that you need to do is think of why you decided to go back to school – what will be the end result of obtaining your degree and then prioritize it.  You may have to paint a visual picture of your future career or have one of your supporters remind you daily of your goal so that you don’t start procrastinating.  Once you prioritize your education you can then use the techniques down below to keep on you track.

 

  • Find a Support Person – You need someone that you communicate with to keep on track.  Tell this person that you have been procrastinating and ask them if they will check in on you so that you feel accountable if you do start to deviate away from the plan. Make sure you choose someone that you don’t want to let down – this is definitely swaying your mind to complete your schoolwork.
  • Organize/Plan your life tasks so that your academics fit in normally.  For instance, if you know that you work from 9-5 every day and that you cook dinner each night at 6 PM, maybe you now will dedicate Tuesdays and Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 PM to complete your course work. Writing this on a calendar or setting calendar reminders on your phone can be helpful.
  • Get rid of distracting things that are helping you to procrastinate.  There are many things that are distractors – pop-up events, chaotic households, unorganized workspaces, etc.  Whatever it is for you, think about and address the issue at the start of the course so that you are all set to go on day one of the class.  You also need to learn to say “No” to anything that may stop you from your planned academic time – keep that visual picture in mind.
  • Reward yourself – set a goal – if I stay on schedule with my set academic plans for 2 weeks straight, I will treat myself to a steak dinner.  Once you meet this goal, try setting another one for one month or longer.  You want to be able to create a habit.  Once you make your academics a habit it will be less likely that you will procrastinate.  Remember, to keep that overall visual goal in mind – GRADUATION!

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