Beat the Mental Block: Study Tactics for Procrastinating Students By Rachelle Wilber

All people are affected by procrastination to a certain extent and at least at some point in their lives. Occasional episodes of procrastination are not a reason to worry; however, prolonged bouts of this behavior can affect students and their academic progress.




One of the major problems that procrastinators face is that they have an overly positive outlook on life. They often believe that they can complete school assignments before the deadline and still come away with a passing grade. This is clearly an error in thinking; at some point, the complexity of a course will work against procrastinators. Learning a few helpful strategies for dealing with procrastination can help students get back on the right academic track.


For the purpose of overcoming procrastination, students must first realize that their self-imposed delays are completely unnecessary. Coming to this realization may require listing the reasons why academic work is being ignored. The next step would be to dispute those reasons in a vigorous manner. This should not be difficult to accomplish because the foundations of procrastination tend to be flimsy and trivial.

Procrastination and Consequences

One technique that helps some students overcome procrastination is to think about the potential long-term consequences of their behavior. For example, someone who wishes to go into a master’s in diplomacy program so they can work for the State Department should think about how disastrous it would be to put off writing an intelligence report for Embassy staff in a politically-unstable nation. Cramming for tests and passing them may not seem like a big deal now, but perpetuating this behavior could prove disastrous in life.

Spacing Out Academic Tasks

Scheduling blocks of study time can be very effective even when the blocks are as short as five minutes. These blocks do not have to consume an entire day. After a couple of hours of studying, a rewarding 15-minute break can be taken before embarking into another two hours and a longer break.

Seek Role Models

Procrastinators who seek study groups tend to follow leaders who will not let them postpone their learning. Studying in the presence of other students who do not procrastinate can be the beginning of a lifelong goal to stop delaying academic assignments. In essence, this is peer pressure, but in a positive light.

In the end, understanding the mechanics of procrastination and how frivolous they are when placed into the context of real life will go a long way towards avoiding this bothersome and unproductive behavior.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook