Why procrastination is an issue and how to manage your time

Diarmaid has some ideas for managing your time if you find yourself procrastinating while working or studying

Written by Diarmaid Mc Caffrey


One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from Abraham Lincoln – “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Of course, it’s easy for him to say. Odds are the American civil war would probably be a lot harder to win if he had to juggle his facebook accounts and handle his social networking team. It’s not just him. Herodotus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt have all made comments saying more or less the same thing. No matter the place in history, the war against procrastination has gone on for centuries which is hardly a surprise.

If your laptop breaks, there is a faulty printer or you accidently delete a file, these study barriers are really obvious and will force you to snap into action to try to find a solution. Procrastination is less noticeable but can still get in the way of studying and productivity.

Procrastination has a nasty habit of creeping up on you. You could be productive for a good forty-five minutes and take a break to catch out a few videos online, just for twenty minutes. And then, all of a sudden,  you look up, it’s three am, and you have four hours to meet a deadline.

So the question, how to avoid these pitfalls in the first place? Like with many things the most complicated problems have rather simple solutions.  The main reason why so many people struggle with procrastination is because they think they can can complete a task any time.

Set deadlines for yourself

Whether you want to complete a project at work – or achieve a personal goal – it’s essential to set realistic deadlines for yourself. A goal without time pressure can be ignored and ignored and ignored. A goal with a ticking clock attached to it can’t be put off.

I still remember every single deadline and test to study for, there is a certain amount of pushing you to have to do to get everything done.  Sometimes this involves staying awake all night just to finish a thesis. If we didn’t have deadlines with consequences, we would never push ourselves.

Make a to-do list

So it’s all a matter of doing something as simple as creating a to-do list to help organise yourself and what you want to achieve. Make sure to include achievable deadline dates that you feel comfortable you can make.

Set smaller, more manageable goals

From there it’s just a matter of breaking down your goal in small manageable parts  Break your goal into small pieces. The bigger your goal or the change you want to make, the more quickly it can start to feel overwhelming. For example, if it’s a paper you have to write, you could try and hit one thousand words a day.

But that, of course, that’s for the big projects, if you’re procrastinating on things that would take a few minutes.

….then, what are you waiting for?

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