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Suggestions for Managing Procrastination

  • Don’t plan on eliminating procrastination entirely; instead, develop a plan to manage procrastination so that you are doing it less frequently.
  • Establish routines that help to organize and structure your time throughout the day. It is often helpful to designate a specific time when you will start working on the thesis and then hold yourself accountable to that commitment in the same way you would for any other responsibility.
  • Identify ways that you justify the avoidance of thesis work and challenge these thought patterns. Many students attempt to rationalize their procrastination by asserting that other tasks are more important or that tomorrow will be a more productive day.
  • Don’t rely on motivation to determine whether or not you are going to work on the thesis. Develop a time management plan and make a commitment to work during the times allocated to the thesis. The more you think of your thesis as a job, the more likely you are to work even when you aren’t motivated.
  • Don’t allow tasks with imminent deadlines to become more important than time allocated for the thesis. This is often an effective way of procrastinating because there are frequently enough daily tasks to consume all available thesis time.
  • Identify the reasons you are procrastinating and respond to them with a plan of action. It is often helpful to consult with a colleague or mentor who can help you identify obstacles to progress, support the work, and hold you accountable.
  • Develop short-term goals you can accomplish on a daily basis. The long-term work necessary to complete the thesis can seem so overwhelming that you may avoid working on it as a way of coping with the uncertainty.
  • Minimize distractions in your workplace. This may include the use of software to manage electronic distractions, including social media, gaming, and internet access, if you are using these to avoid working.