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Procrastination in College

A woman sitting at a desk looking at a laptop.

Photo via StockPhotoSecrets

Overview

Many people procrastinate when it comes to school. All of the work can be difficult to keep up with. The academic demands of college are often heavier than in high school, and procrastinating can lead to serious academic problems. Here are several tips and tricks to help you learn to reduce procrastinating and be successful in college.

Be Realistic

Procrastinating is a habit, and it likely took years to learn. Therefore, you can’t expect to fix it overnight. But with time and dedication, you can learn new ways of doing things.

Keep Track

Keep track of the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks. For example, if you only gave yourself 2 hours to study for your first science test and got a C, then studied 5 hours for your next exam and got an A, you can use this information to plan and schedule study time for future exams.

Review Everyday

Make it a habit to check your organizer daily and review both weekly and daily tasks. Make sure you are constantly keeping things up to-date and adding new assignments that come up. You may need to change your timeline and milestones for assignments if new tasks get added.

Don't Forget the Fun Stuff

Be sure to add in breaks and personal activities, as these may affect your timeline of getting things done. It’s okay to set aside time for yourself and time to have fun and enjoy college.

Get Organized

Disorganization is often a major part of procrastinating. If you feel overwhelmed, you may be more likely to procrastinate. Get a calendar, organizer, scheduler, or appointment book to keep track of your tasks. You can also use apps on your phone, tablet, or computer to help with organization. Remember, these tools can be great to have, but you need to actively use them for it to work!

Break Things Down

Each task can be broken down into smaller parts. Breaking things down makes them easier to tackle. Each part should be given a milestone, or a date it should be completed. For example, writing a major paper can be broken down into smaller parts such as:

  1. select a topic
  2. research the topic
  3.  use the information to make an outline
  4. write a rough draft
  5.  review it or have someone else review it
  6. write a final draft
  7. review it or have someone else review it
  8. submit on the due date or earlier

Each of these parts should be assigned a realistic due date for completion and this should be in your organizer.

Remember... You'll Mess Up

It’s important to remember that you’re not going to be successful every time, especially when you first start. A few setbacks does not mean you are a failure. Keep at it and eventually new habits will form.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.