Procrastination is actually a very effective way for your brain to avoid the stress and anxiety brought on by an assignment, at least for a short time. By procrastinating, your brain temporarily removes the thing causing the stress from your immediate attention. Unfortunately, the deadline still looms, which causes further anxiety later on and, then, further procrastination, creating an increasingly vicious cycle.
The time crunch and stress caused by procrastination can often result in plagiarism.
One of the best ways to avoid procrastination peril is to start an assignment early and to create smaller deadlines for yourself that help you meet your larger goals. But there’s more to this than simply being organized. When you begin work on something – a paper, a presentation, a project – your brain switches into a different mode of operation, from avoidance to involvement, even if you begin in very basic ways by simply sketching some ideas, writing out a thesis statement, or creating a rough outline.
Just starting a project in in this preliminary way helps to significantly counter the procrastination impulse.
By writing down some ideas or roughing out an opening paragraph, you also concretize the task – it becomes more of a real world thing to be dealt with, and less of a stress-ridden thing to be avoided.
And, by breaking the task down into smaller, more readily approachable parts, you can begin to make tangible headway and build momentum towards completion.
The Learning Commons can help with these and other study and research strategies that will enable you to maximize your learning.