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How To Stop Procrastinating And Start Studying

Procrastination is something that every student experiences at some point in his or her academic career.

Procrastination can have many negative impacts on students, including poor performance, lowered grades, and increased stress. These consequences can snowball quickly, leading to a cycle of poor grades and low self-confidence that can be hard for students to break out of.

Whether it’s homework assignments or studying for upcoming tests—it’s time to help your child beat the procrastination problem.

How Can Students Avoid Procrastination?

The first step toward helping your child stop putting off school work is understanding why students procrastinate. Many parents may feel that their child is lazy or just doesn’t care—but that usually isn’t the case. Procrastination is commonly a sign of a deeper issue.

If your child struggles with procrastination, there are things you can do to help get him or her back on track to better grades (and less stress about school).

Keep reading to learn how to help your child avoid procrastinating on school work.

How To Stop School Work Procrastination

  1. Start Small
  2. What not to do: Try to tackle everything all at once

    What to do instead:

    Break projects into smaller tasks. If your child is working on a big task, help him or her break it down into smaller pieces that can be tackled individually. This will help make the task more manageable and less overwhelming so your child is able to get started.

  3. Set Goals
  4. What not to do: Start projects without knowing what the goal is

    What to do instead:

    Simply not knowing why or how they should tackle an assignment is a reason many students put off getting started. Once you’ve broken down the task, help your child set specific goals such as completing a certain amount of the assignment by a particular date. Having goals to work toward will help give your child a clearer path to completing a project.

  5. Don’t Overthink It
  6. What not to do: Stress about the “what ifs” (ex., “What if I get a bad mark?”)

    What to do instead:

    If your child is stressing about a task, it starts to seem more daunting than it actually is. This makes it even harder to get started. Before your child starts, have him or her get out all of his or her concerns about the project. Once these are written down in front of him or her, talk to your child about how he or she can work to overcome each concern.

  7. Remove Distractions
  8. What not to do: Work somewhere with many distractions

    What to do instead:

    Help your child create a space that is just for school work. This space should be free from distractions like clutter, television, cell phones, and other family members or activities so your child can focus on his or her assignments.

  9. Stick to a schedule
  10. What not to do: Say “I’ll get to it after …”

    What to do instead:

    Sit down with your child to create a schedule that includes the due dates of his or her upcoming assignments. Help your child schedule when he or she will work on each of these projects and a deadline to work toward to help him or her stay on track.

  11. Take proper study breaks
  12. What not to do: Allow study breaks to turn into procrastination traps

    What to do instead:

    Make sure your child is taking study breaks the right way. Avoid checking in on social media or text messages—these can steal your child’s focus, with 10 minutes quickly turning into an hour. Instead, encourage your child to use a 5-10 minute study break to stretch or go outside for a walk before getting back to work.

  13. Stick with one (or two) things at a time
  14. What not to do: Start too many things at once and end up with lots of half-started tasks

    What to do instead:

    Make sure your child is completing tasks (or as much of a task as possible) before starting a new one. This will help your child avoid feeling overwhelmed by working on too many tasks at once. A study schedule will help here as well, outlining exactly what your child should be working on and when.

  15. Adjust your expectations
  16. What not to do: Expect to be perfect

    What to do instead:

    Perfectionism is one of the most common causes of procrastination. Let your child know it’s ok not to be perfect—the goal of any project is to do your best and learn from any mistakes you make so you can get a little better each time.

  17. Boost motivation
  18. What not to do: Dwell on not wanting to do a task

    What to do instead:

    Constantly complaining about a task can be worse than just sitting down and completing it. Not to mention it can cause even more stress by putting it off. To help, provide motivators when your child hits a milestone such as meeting a deadline or completing a project. This could include words of praise and encouragement for your child or a special treat.

School girl (14-15) looking at stacks of books in library

Does your child struggle with procrastination?

Learn how GradePower Learning can help your child develop the study skills needed to beat procrastination.

See Study Skills Program

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