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How to stop procrastinating while in college.

Procrastinating while in college is usually a sign of an underlying depression and mental health issue.

If you find yourself procrastinating all while in college or any other school, this is usually a symptom of a much bigger problem than just being a little lazy and giving yourself a break once in a while.

Since its a symptom of a bigger issue, you should target the main issue affecting you and help motivate yourself to stop procrastinating in college and help fix your everyday life habits.

You need to train yourself to act instinctively and so something that needs to be done instead of forcing yourself to act. When you see some dirty dishes on the table, you shouldn't tell yourself "I need to wash these dishes", your brain has to instinctively command you to act and clean them or put them in the dishwasher. Without this instinct or natural habits, you will find yourself expending a lot of mental effort to complete even the smallest task. Over time, this mental effort can be harder and harder to execute and can lead to depression.

So how can you get about getting the instinct to act instead of thinking a lot about things. The trick is to start small. Here are some ways you can get yourself to develop the natural instinct to act.

Start at home and spot things that can be fixed quickly

The easiest way to gain the "act now" instinct is to expand your field of view when you're at home and spot for things that can be fixed or done quickly. See that empty can on the table? Remove it. Notice an overdue bill, pay it now. Dirty shower, clean it now etc. You don't need have a specific time in your day to do these tasks - Just do them as you walk around.

React quickly when faced with problems or situations.

If a small issue comes up in your house, plan to fix it quickly. Say a light bulb died. It may not be really important to replace it right now, but make a plan to get another one and replace it soon. Fix a date to do that and write it down so you don't forget. This is how you learn how to react quickly to situations that arise and avoid procrastination.

Keep your morning routine

Have a fixed time to wake up, eat breakfast, take shower, brush your teeth, put some clothes on, then do whatever you want to do. This way, you are training yourself to act even without thinking and this will help you do things instinctively.

Seek help from a college counselor

Sometimes many college students, due to the stress and work at school, feel depressed and self-loathing and end up procrastinating in their school work and other things. I highly recommend checking out your school's mental health services. Feeling depressed is very common among students but it is also fixable. College counselors handle this kind of thing all the time, and their services are usually free to students.

A lot of time when students find themselves procrastinating even on simple tasks and on their school work, there is an underlying depression issue involved. Please don't be embarrassed and hide your issue. Visit a school counselor and they will be able to help you.

Recurrent procrastination can also be the result of several factors:

Difficulty breaking work down into chunks.

This is both in terms of dividing work into smaller milestones, as well as mentally separating multiple jobs (having 2 jobs on your TODO list feels like one huge job that has to be done immediately or not at all to feel good about your work).

This factor tends to cause people experiencing procrastination to think that if tasks are not done all at once, they are not worth doing at all. Rather than feeling good about doing only one part of the task, they feel pressured to do everything and this is an unpleasant experience.


This occurs when one sets such high goals for themselves, that they have to produce something perfect that they expend too much energy trying to make a perfect thing, when they don't need to. This puts pressure on them so much that they think that it will take too much effort to complete the perfect task they have set for themselves. In the end, they end up stressed and not even attempt to complete the task.

Focusing on negative pressure as a motivator.

Some procrastinators have had problems since they were children, and such cases can be linked to excessive authoritarian parenting or teaching that focused on negative reinforcement disproportionate to positive reinforcement, which discourages self-initiative and encourages doing the bare minimum to avoid punishment.

For example: "I better do this assignment now, because if I don't I'll fail the subject". In this example, this person approaches his work with the mindset of "If I don't do this, something bad will happen". This mindset takes the joy out of completing the task and also engages the rebellious side of the human psyche. Humans do not like feeling forced to do something, and naturally resist. This applies even in regards to your approach to yourself. When you must negotiate with yourself using dire consequences, you're going to find a lot of resistance.

Instead, one should not focus on the negative consequences, but focus on just starting the task at hand. Let the finishing just happen on it's own. Each day you want to put some work in, simply think "Ok, I'd like to get some more of this done, when can I start?