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What is procrastination?

Procrastination is when you delay a task even though you’d wish you didn’t. To some this type of postponing things is an annoying bad habit, to others, it’s both the cause and effect of mental troubles. It can start with you finding the task/theme boring, and that you for some reason aren’t motivated. The sum of a lot of discomfort in your life can also lead to delay in study-related tasks. Difficulty concentrating increases the chance of procrastination. Habits and personality can also affect it. One has seen that the uprising of social media has increased the likelihood of procrastinating. It feels better to pick up your phone and check Facebook than to keep up with your curriculum. To others, anxiety can be what stops them from doing the tasks - the fear of failure. Anyway, you have something to blame if it doesn’t work out: "if I’d only started reading sooner, then I would have done better on my exam".

Procrastination usually occurs with comprehensive tasks with a long deadline, and when you are stressed. These factors are especially relevant for students. Between 50-95% of students say that they procrastinate, while 15-20% of the rest of the population says the same.

How to overcome procrastination

There are several ways to overcome procrastination. One of the easiest things to start out with is removing the things that distract you. Put away your phone, disconnect your notifications and mail. This can rather be used as a reward for later after you’ve worked for a while.

Try to split the task into several smaller pieces, with shorter deadlines. It will then seem more accomplishable, and your motivation increases.

Figure out what motivates you - is it good grades, is it finishing, is it the goal of doing a good job that motivates you? You can also involve others in your goals, many find it easier to keep the promises you’ve given others, rather than the ones you give to yourself.

Reducing your stress level will also make starting a task easier - see a chapter on how to handle stress.

You can also try following Nike’s slogan - Just do it! Think that you will work 10 minutes, to see if you are able to enter work mode. If you are in the zone, keep going. If not, take a five-minute break and try 10 more minutes. Many people need extra time to get into a flow zone.

Ask for and receive help when it’s needed

There are a lot of things you can do to take good care of yourself, but if you feel like there is too much adversity, know that there is help available. Some students are facing harder troubles in life than what we have described above. However, we hope that most students find something useful here. But what if you feel like you need something more?

The aim for your time as a student is as previously stated "to be independent", but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything all by yourself. Being independent also means cooperating with others, and daring to ask for help. Here we have put together a list over other help offers. There are a lot of people who can help you, and SiS Health wants to be there for you as a student.

We are here for you if you need it, and we wish you the best of luck with your studies.