To get the upper hand on procrastination, it turns out you need to reframe your mindset. Here are some tips.
Trying to go it alone is a dangerous road for those trying to break their procrastination habit. “When we are isolated, and we do things in a silo, it becomes harder to feel motivated,” Luster observes. “I encourage students to find a study partner to help them when they feel like they just don’t want to do something.”
A South African research study in 2018 reinforced this insight. It found that students who prepared for exams with a study partner had higher pass rates than those who didn’t, perhaps in part because of the built-in accountability.
If you’re a University of Phoenix student searching for an accountability partner to prevent you from procrastinating, reach out to your faculty, academic advisor or the UOPX Student Community (Official) Facebook group for recommendations.
For procrastinators, the promise of an easy solution has turned a formerly simple productivity app into what is now an $8 billion global industry.
Yet research has shown that while time management techniques such as apps do impact behavior, they aren’t usually sustainable. In many cases, they even reduce job performance while increasing anxiety.
“Apps don’t really do a great job,” Luster says. “They are not a silver bullet. The excuses are always there.” If you use an app and feel that it keeps you on track, you don’t have to delete it. But beware the common pitfall of seeking the elusive “perfect” app, which can become its own form of procrastination.
In our productivity-obsessed world, it’s easy to lose perspective of what can be realistically accomplished in one day. For working adult students, many with families and other commitments, that balance can seem even further out of reach.
To put things into perspective, Luster recommends asking yourself why a given task is important and how it fits into your overall goals.
Be mindful of overfilling your schedule, which can lead to burnout, stress and perpetuation of the procrastination cycle. And remember that decent sleep, regular meals and a daily dose of sunshine are essential for all humans — not luxuries reserved for people with less to do.
How do we know if our tendency to delay has crossed the line from bad habit to serious issue?
“If you can’t function, that’s when you need to seek help,” Luster says.
Some signs of trouble are severing relationships, undermining your performance at work or school or suffering disrupted sleep or diminished health.
University of Phoenix has a wealth of resources available 24/7 for students. For starters, the Life Resource Center offers counseling sessions face-to-face, virtually or on the phone. Wellness workshops, financial consulting and peer support groups are also freely available.