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Procrastination is something many people do, and it is not the same as being lazy. Whether you are being lazy or procrastinating both mean you lack the motivation to complete the task. The difference is that a procrastinator intends to complete the task and usually does complete it. So how can you stop procrastinating and start ticking things off your list? Here are five ways to help you:

1. Promise yourself a reward – Giving yourself a reward for a job well-done may give you the kick start you need to get those gears turning. This can mean refraining from social activities until your task is done, or indulging in your favorite treat.

2. Change your mindset – Phrases like “I need to do this” or “I have to do this”, imply that you have no choice in what you do, which can have a negative effect on how you approach this task. This sort of negative self-talk can be challenged. When you just think to yourself “I choose to do this”, the change in mindset can make you feel more in control of your workload.

3. Ask someone to check up on you – Sometimes, having someone else that is accountable for you and whatever task you have will remind you to get it done! This can be a parent, a friend or a tutor that may follow up from time to time about that assignment. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a little help when you need it to improve your time management. If you’re having trouble talking to someone, then maybe try these tips for talking to someone.

4. Find what kinds of tasks cause you to procrastinate – What is inviting the procrastination? Is the task boring? Frustrating? Or maybe it’s just plain difficult? When you recognize why you’re avoiding the task, you may be able to change how you approach it. For example, if a task is too difficult, you can break it up into smaller easier chunks, or contact someone to help you for the parts you really can’t figure out. When something is too boring, you can make the task fun by seeing how maybe words of that essay you can crank out, and reward yourself after.

5. Plan your breaks – Sometimes, the temptation is too strong, that’s okay! You can give in, just try to do it on a scheduled basis. When you deny yourself things, such as checking social media or grabbing a snack, it can actually work against you! But when you plan breaks, it can help productivity overall.

And that’s it. Five ways that can help you beat procrastination. But beating procrastination is an ongoing process and it’s okay to fall off the wagon sometimes! When that happens, just remember that you can get the task done and you’ll do better next time. Good luck!

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