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Student sitting in front of the notebook and building a Mikado pile of pencils.

10 strategies against procrastination

Getting started made easier

1. Advice: Accept work

  • Studying is work
  • Acceptance of negative feelings hurdles/dry spells
  • Long-term vs. short-term reward
  • Develop everyday routine/work rituals

2. Advice: Self-acceptance

  • Acceptance & responsibility for procrastinating behavior
  • What does procrastination protect me from?
  • Decoupling self-esteem and performance
  • Reduction of internal demands

3. Advice: Develop rituals

  • Separation of areas: work, everyday life and leisure time
  • Introduce rituals (getting up on time, starting work at a specific time, taking breaks, ending work at a specific time, free time)
  • Relieved of agonizing considerations and unproductive decisions

4. Advice: choose a suitable place of work

  • Choose a location with minimal distractibility
  • Privacy protection
  • Working group/social component

5. Advice: create a work plan.

  • First rough planning
    • Overview: How much time do I actually have?
    • Estimate the required workload
    • Which claim is realistic? Do I have to make compromises?
  • Then detailed planning – enter work units in the weekly plan

Detailed planning/weekly plan:

  • What do I want to achieve today?
  • Determine work units (45-90min)
  • What do I want to edit per unit?
  • Schedule breaks (15-30 minutes) in advance
  • Plan buffer (1/3 of daily working time)
  • Don't miss out on free time and plan it firmly
  • Keep one day a week free
  • The start of the learning unit is a fixed date in the calendar
  • When do I want to start?
  • How and when can I remember the appointment? Alarm clock, cell phone reminder 5-10 minutes before
  • What do I do in the 5/10 minutes beforehand?
  • What sentence can I use to motivate myself to get started? 

6. Advice: Deal with difficulties effectively

  • Dealing with your weaker self: acceptance & responsibility
  • Self-reflection instead of self-blame:
    • At what point do I start to procrastinate?
    • What helped me get to work better today?
    • What do I need to achieve my daily goal?
  • Identify “excuses.”

Typical excuses (thoughts that encourage procrastination):

  • “I have to do it perfectly”
  • “I still have enough time/no more time!”
  • “I have to go back to literature.”
  • “I need to be well rested/in the right mood!”
  • “The weather is so nice and everyone is in the park.”
  • “The apartment needs to be tidy.”
  • “I have so many important things to do!”

7. Advice: Prioritize tasks

  • Important & urgent things first
  • Sometimes important things are not urgent




Hand in homework by Monday after next

Shopping, picking up children

Drink coffee, Facebook, watch series.

not urgent

Do laundry, plan your next vacation, go to the dentist, do sports

Small talk, internet surfing

Which task has now! Priority if I want to finish my homework by the Monday after next?

8. Advice: Self-motivation

  • Long-term reward is better for self-esteem than short-term reward
  • Willingness to endure negative feelings
  • Focus on successes already achieved
  • Set small, achievable goals every day and implement rewards in everyday life

9. Advice: Spend your free time sensibly

  • Accept boundaries, observe work-life balance
  • Allow yourself time off
  • Physical activity
  • Know about your own sources of strength

10. Advice: Practice relaxation techniques

  • Yoga/meditation
  • Autogenic training
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • breathing exercises

Not enough yet? - Do you want to approach it individually?