by Victoria

I am a full time student and worker, and I am dealing with a crisis - I do very poor on my assignments because I always leave things until the last minute. After classes I usually tend to go home because I am so tired and leave everything for the weekend.

During the weekend I think, 'Well, I will have time here in a hour or so'. I keep having that thought until the day is over. I need advice on time management, probably a change of mentality. Also, English is my second language which makes it little harder.

Clearly overcoming procrastination is the challenge for you, Victoria. But leaving things until the last minute is something we all do at times.

There are two ways you can get things done before the last minute.

1) Increase your self discipline.

Get motivated! Tell yourself to “Just Do It!” Make it happen!

I’m not a fan of this method.

Sure, it can work in the short term, particularly if someone, or something, is inspiring enough to persuade you to power through your challenges. But it’s a short lived solution. Sooner or later, your motivation wanes again -- you’re back to where you started...

2) Reduce your resistance.

When we put off our work, it is because, in our minds, it is “too difficult” to do.

The trick is not to rise up to the challenge. Instead, break the challenge up in to manageable chunks that are less than the resistance you feel towards taking action on them.

Here are two ideas for reducing the resistance you feel towards your work:

Time boxing. Work on something for as many minutes as you feel like working for. Decide how long you want to work for, set a timer and get started. Could be 30 minutes, could be three minutes. Just do something. Once you know how to avoid procrastination by time boxing you’ll use it all the time!

“I’m not really going to do it; I’ll just...” Time management expert, Mark Forster suggests fooling your brain. Tell yourself that you’re not really going to do the work, you’ll just open your book and skim it for a couple of minutes. This is a surprisingly effective way to fool your brain into thinking you’re not working when, in fact, you are.

Oh, and one other thing...

You mention that you are tired after classes so you leave everything until the weekend.

Be kind to yourself. We all have our natural energy cycles. If yours dips in the afternoons, don’t try to do your best work then. Try time boxing a few mundane tasks that take little thought but still need to be done. Find out when you do work best and schedule your creative work for those times.

Best wishes,


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