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Experiment with whichever of these strategies appeals to you; if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else! Figuring out exactly when and how you procrastinate can help you stop the behavior.It can be difficult to tell when you are procrastinating.trying to complete the first (and only) draft—without knowing why or how you got there.In order to stop putting off your writing assignments, it is important to understand why you tend to do so in the first place.Some of the reasons that people procrastinate include the following: Whether these fears appear in our conscious or subconscious minds, they paralyze us and keep us from taking action, until discomfort and anxiety overwhelms us and forces us to either a) get the piece of writing done or b) give up.(The preceding is a summary of Chapters 2-4 of Jane B. Yuen’s Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It.) Procrastination and perfectionism often go hand in hand.Punishing yourself every time you realize you have put something off won’t help you change. If you don’t care why you procrastinate—you just want to know what to do about it—then you might as well skip the next section of this handout and go right to the section labeled “What to do about it.” If you skip to the strategies, however, you may only end up more frustrated.Taking the time to learn about why you procrastinate may help you avoid the cycle whereby you swear up and down that you will never procrastinate again, only to find that the next time you have a paper due, you are up until 3 a.m.
Given such a choice, it’s no wonder that many of us choose to procrastinate.When we write a paper at the last minute and still manage to get a good grade, we feel all the more compelled to procrastinate next time around.Now that you know a little bit about why you may have procrastinated in the past, let’s explore some of the strategies you might use to combat your procrastination tendencies, now and in the future.You find that just when you have really gotten going on a paper, it’s time to turn it in; so, you never really have time to revise or proofread carefully.You love the rush of adrenalin you get when you finish a paper ten minutes before it’s due, but you (and your body) are getting tired of pulling all-nighters.