Universiteit Leiden

nl en
Anna Loh

7 tips to combat procrastination

The end of the semester is approaching again. That means a lot of deadlines and the end of a lot of subjects. Have you prepared well for this period?

It is very common if your preparation has not gone as you would like. This could be because you suffer from procrastination. Sometimes this can stem from perfectionism, fear of failure, lack of motivation, or simply because the task seems overwhelming. The good news is that there are ways to deal with it and overcome it. Here are a few tips that can help.

  1. Plan with compassion: Divide your tasks into manageable chunks and make a schedule that is achievable. Above all, don't be too hard on yourself. Try to be realistic about how much time you need for each part of your work. Option: Follow Gezonde Boel's e-health module ‘Planning and Structure’.
  2. Use the Pomodoro technique: Work in short intervals of, say, 25 minutes, followed by a short break. To do this, turn on a timer or download the Forest-app timer on your phone. This can help keep you focused and avoid working too long in in succession.
  3. Eliminate distractions: Identify the things that distract you while studying, and try to avoid them. Put your phone on silent, use website blockers (e.g. BlockSite) ) if necessary, and find a quiet place to work. Option: Follow Gezonde Boel's e-health module ‘Focused work’.
  4. Eat-the-frog: Another effective strategy is to adopt the 'Eat-the-Frog' method. This involves tackling the most difficult or least enjoyable task first, allowing you to complete the rest of your tasks with more energy and motivation.

  5. Celebrate your milestones: Set yourself clear goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. This can range from taking a short break to doing something fun when you complete a big task.

  6. Ensure accountability: Studying together can be motivating and give you the push you need to get going. You can also join a study support group: First aid for procrastination.

  7. Be kind to yourself: It's important to remember that procrastination is something many people face and it's okay if it happens occasionally. Be kind to yourself and try to figure out what strategies work best for you. With some patience and perseverance, you can definitely master procrastination!

If you find that, despite these tips, you get caught up with deadlines and preparing for exams, you can always contact your study adviser. Procrastination is something many students deal with and it is important to realise that it is quite normal.

If there are other things that get in the way of your well-being, check out the Student Wellbeing Roadmap to see where to turn.

More help

Follow something from the options below to tackle procrastination or its cause:

E-health modules

  • Procrastination: GetStarted from Caring Universities (with e-coach)
  • Perfectionism: GoodEnough from Caring Universities (with e-coach)
  • Or one of the following modules from Gezonde Boel:
    • Strategy for learning

    •  Fear of failure

This website uses cookies.