Professional Help

Here is some advice from the experts that can help you to conquer that lazy beast.

Dr. Gregory Webster, Psychology Professor at the University of Florida

Dr. Webster deines proctrastination as an attitude or behavior. He said it can be attitude or belief about something internalized. "It's more of a lack of behavior, lack of doing something," Dr. Webster said. "Instead of doing something immediately, you push it into the future." He believes that anyone can suffer at one point or another at different points in your life. "For instance, if you're a very caring parent, you don't want to procrastinate on the necessary shots for your child. We might want to procrastinate on different areas of our life or or tend to other parts of our life right away. But with that said, there are individual differences in procrastination. Some people are more prone to procrastination than other people," Webster said. He assumes that people who are more conscientious do not procrastinate and he states that there is evidence that people get more conscientious over their lifespan, on average. With that, he states that people probably procrastinate less as they get older.

"Good study habits help you avoid procrastination. It's a constant battle for students, 'do I want to study now or study later.' And especially, now around finals time, you have people who study in small increments throughout the semester and then you have people who cram everything until the last minute. I think both methods probably have their pluses and minuses. Of course, I think the latter method probably causes alot more stress. So, they might be equally good depending on your learning style. But, the latter one might cause more stress, ultimately," Webster said.

Dr. Webster's Steps on How to Combat and Overcome Procrastination

1. Make a public committment "If you make a public committment, you're more likely to keep with it," he said. So, if you tell a bunch of people who are close to you that you're going to get something done by a certain date, you're much more likely to do it than if you kept the idea in your mind to yourself and didn't share it."

2. Imagine the consequences "I think most people when they focus on something they have to do, they focus on 'oh, I've got to do this thing' and they worry about it. I think some people fail sometimes to see the other side of it, which is 'how good it's going to feel when this is done' which might motivate people if you approach it from that angle," Webster said.

3. Reward yourself "Sometimes people will reward themselves, sometimes with a big reward at the end or little incremental rewards along the way. So, especially if it is a big and time consuming project, they can either have a process where they incentivize. [example] 'For every two pages I do, I'm going to do something like take a walk outside for ten minutes, grabbing a snack or something like that or I get to check Facebook'. Those little rewards along the way can help you out alot. But some people prefer a big reward at the end. [example] 'If I get all of this work done by Friday at 5 then I'm going to go out and have fun, you know, go see that movie I wanted to go see." Webster said.

4. Imagine the reverse consequences "Look at the flip side of that, you know it's causing you pain and anxiety now, but it might only increase in the future. Making a stand and understanding it's not simply going to go away or get done on its own, you kind of have to face up to it and just do it," Webster said.

Dr. Beverly Brady, Licensed Psychologist at the University of Florida Counceling and Wellness Center

Dr. Beveryly Brady simply describes procrastination as avoiding something when you know you should do it and and knowing there will be consequences later. "We get a wide variety of students coming in for procrastination issues," Brady said. "We've gotten students coming say they procrastinated all through higschool and now it has more severe consequences." As to a defining it as a behavioral trait, she said "probably, it's definitely something you can learn behavioral skills to address the issue. There are some people who seem to be more prone to it than others.

Dr. Brady's Steps on How to Combat and Overcome Procrastination

1. Acknowledging "Acknowledging it is an issue and then trying to figure out why it is you tend to procrastinate and that underlying issue is authentic to different people. Some people just don't want to do the job, they just find the task unpleasant and they're avoiding it for that reason," Brady said. There are other people who are concerned about their performance,they feel like 'i'm not sure I can do it and put it off until the last minute and I don't get a good grade, but I can say oh I didn't get a good grade because I didn't do it until the last minute. There are different reasons why people procrastinate."

2. (For incoming freshman) Transition Brady states that incoming freshman should recognize the transition between highschool and college. Highschool is more structured where college does not have as much structure, so you have to impose it on your own schedule. "So, I'ld advise them to get a day planner if that is something they have not done before, pretty critical in college and making sure they start at the beginning of the semester and look up where all the due dates are. Figure out how long it's going to take them to do each project and they set up their own to-do schedule with their own deadlines," Brady said.

Brady said there usually isn't one answer that works for everyone but we tell them try to know what study strategy works best for you whether it's location, day or night and just make sure you utilize your peak study times.