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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

essay procrastination habit

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

essay procrastination habit

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

essay procrastination habit

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

essay procrastination habit

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

essay procrastination habit

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

essay procrastination habit

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

essay procrastination habit

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

essay procrastination habit

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

essay procrastination habit

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


essay procrastination habit


Procrastination Essays

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To begin with, there are many factors that contribute to my procrastination. The first reason that I blame my procrastination on is being lazy. As stated in the article, Procrastination: Is Your Future Self Getting a Bad Deal, in the third paragraph, Timothy Pychyl says, “In a sense we’re passing the buck to our future self.” This quote shows that you are being lazy and giving your future self the burden of whatever task was assigned to you, instead of being proactive and completing the job. As an example of myself being lazy, if I have homework or projects due at a later date in time, such as in a week or two, I would choose not to do it. Eventually, I end up being piled on with other schoolwork that is due in more recent dates, and I end

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The dictionary definition of Procrastination is the act of “carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before the deadline.” In other words, doing what you want to do, instead of what you should be doing. At times, it could also be something we don’t mind doing; that science homework, packing our lunch for tomorrow to just taking a shower, these are many things people just don’t feel like doing,

Procrastination Doom Loop Analysis

The two articles, 'The Procrastination Doom Loop- And How to Break It' and 'This Was Supposed To Be My Column For New Years' both provide much information about procrastination. One example is that it has more to do with emotion than time. In the article, written by Derek Thompson, he talks about how each of us recognizes it is important to go to the dentist, but still put it off. We look away from this because the pain is too upfront and the rewards are too small. Another example is having nothing to distract you and everything ready to go, but not writing an email back because you don't feel like it. Procrastination can be an effective tool for getting things done.

Virginie Play Script

VIRGINIE: Yea you're right. Procrastination is an unhealthy habit, and it makes us unable to meet deadlines and reach our goals. In fact everyone has procrastinate at least once, which lead them to be

Informative Speech On Procrastination

According to, the meaning of procrastination is “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention”.

How I Learned With My Writing

Procrastination was such a terrible habit for myself. It happens to be extremely difficult to prevent procrastinating as soon as a person has gotten into the habit of doing it. Being the procrastinator that I am, I usually postponed until the last minute to

Procrastinating A Diagnostic Essay

Procrastination and putting things off can have many consequences in your life. I know this because I am always waiting until the last minute to do anything whether it is getting ready for work or getting my homework done. Although you can still get your work done on time, procrastinating can drastically impact a student’s life by leading to decreased grades, an increase in stress, and a lack of responsibility ultimately reducing the student’s chances for success.

“A Dictionary of the English Language” written by Dr. Samuel Johnson, defined procrastination as “delay.” This common issue mostly around everyone. Many people struggle with deadlines every day. It is one of the largest problems seen in college counseling centers. (Grohol, Psy.D.)


Unfortunately, one of the toughest and most persistent forces working against you is procrastination. Dismissing the things you need to do, in order to do the things you want to do is so easy. Only by understanding the roles of your 'primal-self' and your 'conscious-self' can you have a chance at overcoming procrastination.

Achieving Academic Success In College

Procrastination is a challenge that can impede academic success. Procrastination is when someone leaves everything they have to do to a later time. There are many reasons why people procrastinate. Two examples are; “I don’t feel like doing it’, and “I don’t know how.” Personally, I procrastinated all the way through senior year in high school and until my first semester in college of freshman year. I thought that procrastinating could work all the time, but over time procrastinating actually got stressful and caused me to feel down upset, I also ended up not getting the grades I wanted. so, I am trying to learn to stop and do all my work right when I get it, and break it up into parts so I can be done early and not have to worry about all the work piling up.

Procrastination Essay

5.      Though I’ve only touched on a couple, there are many more reasons for procrastinating such as fear of anxiety or failure and even personnel or financial problems. So, you might be asking, how do I know if I’m a procrastinator or not? Well, this brings me to my second point, symptoms of procrastination. One of the worst aspects of procrastination is postponement. When one is postponing an important task, it becomes very difficult to enjoy recreational activities. One is socializing with friends or watching a film, and there is this nagging thought, "I should be working." A dark cloud of guilt hangs over your head and dampens any pleasure you might be extracting from the distractions of the moment. So, by not getting things done in a reasonably and timely manner, or not done at all, precious opportunities have been lost.

Cause and Effect -- Procrastination Essay

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to procrastinate is “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Another way of putting it is “to wait until the last minute.” Procrastination is a very bad habit. Even though

Many of us can recognize that leaving things to the very last minute is not very wise and can cause an abundance of unnecessary stress. Procrastination is self-sabotage whether it’s to pay a credit card bill, fill up gas in your car, or complete your homework. Procrastination ranges from the most miniscule task to the most significant ones so the question is why do people procrastinate? For myself I rationalize this behavior by saying I work best under pressure but through my recent discoveries I found this isn’t true at all, it was just an excuse. The heavy pressure we feel when an important deadline is approaching physically forces us to complete our work but that doesn’t always mean that our work is good. Starting a project weeks before it is due guarantees that we had time to think and process your ideas therefore our work is our work is generally well-prepared. Starting an assignment the night before it’s due forces us to rush through it just to get it done it does not ensure that our best abilities are being put to use and usually ensures that our best abilities are being put to use and usually ensures that it’s satisfactory at its best from a psychological standpoint procrastinators can adapt

The Pros And Cons Of Procrastination

Procrastination, Is it really all that bad? I personally don’t think that procrastination is a horrible thing, to be honest, I don’t think that it should even be called procrastination and I’m not the only one that seems to think this way. I am going to explain why I think that procrastination is not as bad as people say. To support my reasoning, I will provide information from a few professionals who have done research on just the question, Is all procrastination really that bad?

Related Topics

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. —Mary Heaton Vorse

What this handout is about

This handout will help you understand why you procrastinate and offer strategies to combat this common writer’s ailment.


Everyone procrastinates. We put things off because we don’t want to do them, or because we have too many other things on our plates. Putting things off—big or small—is part of being human. If you are reading this handout, however, it is likely that your procrastination is troubling you. You suspect that you could be a much better writer if only you didn’t put off writing projects until the last minute. 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 adrenaline 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. You feel okay about procrastinating while in college, but you worry that this habit will follow you into your working life.

You can tell whether or not you need to do something about your procrastination by examining its consequences. Procrastination can have external consequences (you get a zero on the paper because you never turned it in) or internal consequences (you feel anxious much of the time, even when you are doing something that you enjoy). If you put off washing the dishes, but the dishes don’t bother you, who cares? When your procrastination leaves you feeling discouraged and overburdened, however, it is time to take action.

Is there hope?

If you think you are a hopeless procrastinator, take heart! No one is beyond help. The fact that you procrastinate does not mean that you are inherently lazy or inefficient. Your procrastination is not an untamable beast. It is a habit that has some specific origin, and it is a habit that you can overcome. This handout will help you begin to understand why you procrastinate and give you some strategies for turning things around. For most procrastinators, however, there are no quick fixes. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and never procrastinate again. But you might wake up tomorrow and do one or two simple things that will help you finish that draft a little earlier or with less stress.

You may not be surprised to learn that procrastinators tend to be self-critical. So, as you consider your procrastination and struggle to develop different work habits, try to be gentle with yourself. Punishing yourself every time you realize you have put something off won’t help you change. Rewarding yourself when you make progress will.

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. trying to complete the first (and only) draft—without knowing why or how you got there.

Why we do it

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:

Because we are afraid

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. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen’s Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It.)

Because we expect ourselves to be perfect

Procrastination and perfectionism often go hand in hand. Perfectionists tend to procrastinate because they expect so much of themselves, and they are scared about whether or not they can meet those high standards. Perfectionists sometimes think that it is better to give a half-hearted effort and maintain the belief that they could have written a great paper, than to give a full effort and risk writing a mediocre paper. Procrastinating guarantees failure, but it helps perfectionists maintain their belief that they could have excelled if they had tried harder. Another pitfall for perfectionists is that they tend to ignore progress toward a goal. As long as the writing project is incomplete, they feel as though they aren’t getting anywhere, rather than recognizing that each paragraph moves them closer to a finished product.

Because we don’t like our writing

You may procrastinate on writing because you don’t like to re-read what you have written; you hate writing a first draft and then being forced to evaluate it, in all its imperfection. By procrastinating, you ensure that you don’t have time to read over your work, thus avoiding that uncomfortable moment.

Because we’re too busy

Practical concerns: jobs, other classes, etc.

Because it works

Unfortunately, procrastination helps reinforce itself. When we avoid doing something we dread (like writing) by doing something we enjoy (such as watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc.), we escape the dreaded task. 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.

What to do about it

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. Experiment with whichever of these strategies appeals to you; if you try something and it doesn’t work, try something else! Be patient; improvement will come with practice.

Take an inventory

Figuring out exactly when and how you procrastinate can help you stop the behavior. It can be difficult to tell when you are procrastinating. Think about the clues that tell you that’s what you’re doing: for example, a nagging voice in your head, a visual image of what you are avoiding or the consequences of not doing it, physical ailments (stomach tightness, headaches, muscle tension), inability to concentrate, inability to enjoy what you are doing.

How do you procrastinate?

Once you better understand how you procrastinate, you will be better able to catch yourself doing it. Too often, we don’t even realize that we are procrastinating—until it’s too late.

Create a productive environment

If you have made the decision to stop delaying on a particular writing project, it is critical that you find a place to work where you have at least half a chance of actually getting some writing done. Your dorm room may not be the place where you are most productive. Ditto the computer lab. If you have a laptop computer, try going someplace where you can’t connect to the Internet (e-mail and the Web are the bane of the procrastinator’s existence—as you probably already know). If you are a procrastinator, then chances are you are already pretty exasperated; don’t risk frustrating yourself even more by trying to write in an environment that doesn’t meet your needs.

CAUTION: The most skilled procrastinators will be tempted to take this suggestion too far, spending an inordinate amount of time “creating a productive environment” (cleaning, filing, etc.) and not nearly enough time actually writing. Don’t fall into that trap! While cleaning and filing are indeed worthy and necessary activities, if you only do this when you have an approaching writing deadline, then you are procrastinating.

While you are thinking about where to write, consider also when you will write. When are you most alert? Is it at 8 a.m., mid-morning, mid-afternoon, early evening, or late at night? Try to schedule writing time when you know you will be at your best. Don’t worry about when you “should” be able to write; just focus on when you are able to write.

Challenge your myths

In order to break the procrastination habit, we need to get past the idea that in order to write, we must have all the information pertaining to the topic, and we must have optimal writing conditions. In reality, writers never have all the information, and conditions are never optimal.

Think of a writing project that you are currently putting off. On one side of a piece of paper, write down all the reasons for your delay. On the other side, argue (as convincingly as possible!) against the delay.

Myth #1: “I can’t function in a messy environment. I can’t possibly write this paper until I have cleaned my apartment.”

Challenge: There are no conditions that are necessary in order for you to write, save two: 1) You must have a writing implement (e.g., a keyboard or a pen) and 2) you must have someplace for writing to go, such as into a computer or onto a piece of paper. If, when faced with a writing project, you start piling up prerequisites for all the things you must do before you can possibly start writing, consider whether you might in fact be making excuses—in other words, procrastinating.

Myth #2: “I know it’s time for me to start writing, but I just haven’t done enough research yet. I’ll spend one more night at the library, and then I’ll start writing my paper.”

Challenge: Truth be told, you will never collect all the information you possibly could for your paper. Better to write a tightly-crafted argument with the information you have NOW, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, than to keep doing research and risk throwing your paper together at the last minute.

Myth #3: “I do my best work under pressure.”

Challenge: There are lots of other ways to create pressure for yourself, besides waiting until the night before the paper is due to start writing it. You can set a time limit for yourself—for example, “I will write this paragraph in ½ hour”—or you can pretend that the paper is a timed essay exam. If you do this a week or two before the paper is due, you’ll have a draft in plenty of time to revise and edit it.

Myth #4: “In order to work on my paper, I must have six uninterrupted hours.”

Challenge: You can and should work on a paper in one hour blocks (or shorter). This will help you break the writing task down into smaller pieces, thereby making it seem more manageable. If you know that you can work on one part of the paper for one hour, then it won’t seem so daunting, and you will be less likely to procrastinate.

Some writers find, however, that they do need longer blocks of time in order to really produce anything. Therefore, like all of the strategies outlined here, if this one doesn’t work for you, throw it out and try something else. You might still find, however, that you are more productive when you plan to write “all morning” rather than “all day.”

Myth #5 : “What I write has to be perfect, ” AND/OR “I can’t write anything until I have a perfect thesis statement/intro.”

Challenge: A first draft (or a second, or a third, or even—egad!—the final product) does not have to be perfect. When we write an early draft, we need to turn off our internal critic and just get some words down on the page. The great thing about starting early on a writing project is that it leaves us plenty of time for revision, editing, and proofreading; so, we can set ourselves free to just let our writing flow, without worrying about sentence-level concerns such as grammar, punctuation, and style. You’ll find some other thoughts on editing in our video on proofreading and our handout on revision .

Break it down

The day you get the paper assignment (ideally), or shortly thereafter, break the writing assignment up into the smallest possible chunks. By doing this, the paper never has a chance to take on gargantuan proportions in your mind. You can say to yourself, “Right now, I’m going to write the introduction. That’s all, just the introduction!” And you may be more likely to sit down and do that, than you will to sit down and “write the paper.”

Get a new attitude

We shoot ourselves in the foot, to begin with, by telling ourselves how horrible a particular writing assignment is. Changing our attitude toward the task, when possible, may go a long way toward keeping us from procrastinating. Tell yourself that the task isn’t so bad or difficult, that you either know how to do it, or that you can learn how while you’re doing it. You may find, too, that if you start early on a particular assignment, your attitude never has a chance to get very negative in the first place! Simply starting to write can often help us feel more positive about writing.

Ask for help

Get unblocked

Sometimes, we procrastinate because we feel stuck on a particular essay or section of an essay. If this happens, you have several options:

Make yourself accountable

Set a writing deadline (other than the paper’s due date) for yourself by making an appointment at the Writing Center or telling your TA (or a former TA) that you’re going to give them a draft on such-and-such a date. If you make your Writing Center appointment for several days before the paper is due, then you may be motivated to have a draft finished. Or set an earlier appointment at the Writing Center to have a conversation about your plans for the draft. Talking out your ideas with someone will help you get them organized for subsequent writing.

Leave your work out

Keeping your work (books, notes, articles, etc.) physically out, in full view, gives you a reminder that you are in the middle of the paper, or that you need to start. Also, if you write in more than one shift, it can be helpful to leave off in the middle of a paragraph and leave your ‘tools’ where they are. When you return to the paper, you’ll be able to “warm up” by finishing that paragraph. Starting a new section cold may be more difficult.

Work on improving your writing when you don’t have a deadline

Investigate your writing process. First of all, you may not think you have a thing called a “writing process.” But you do—everyone does. Describe your writing process in detail.

Ask yourself:

Then ask yourself:

Once you can see your writing process, then you can make a decision to change it. But take it easy with this—only work on one part at a time. Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed and frustrated—and we all know where that leads, straight down the procrastination road.

Evaluate your writing’s strengths and weaknesses

If you aren’t ready to evaluate your writing process completely (and it’s okay if you aren’t), then you could try just listing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. For instance, perhaps you are great at creating thesis statements, but you have trouble developing arguments. Or, your papers are very well-organized, but your thesis and argument tend to fall a little flat. Identifying these issues will help you do two things: 1) When you write, you can play to your strength; and 2) You can choose one weakness and do something about it when you DON’T have a deadline.

Now, doing anything when you don’t have a deadline may sound strange to a procrastinator, but bear with me. Let’s say you’ve decided that your writing is too wordy, and you want to work on being more concise. So, some time when you don’t have a paper—but you do have a free hour—you waltz into the Writing Center and tell your tutor, “Hey, I want learn to how to write more clearly.” You confer, and you come away with some simple strategies for eliminating wordiness.

Here is why this may make a difference the next time you write a paper, regardless of whether or not you have procrastinated (again!): You print out your draft. It’s 1 a.m. You go to bed. The next morning, you read over your paper (it’s due at noon). You say to yourself, “Hmmm, I notice I’m being too wordy.” BUT, rather than concluding, “Oh, well, it’s too late, there isn’t anything I can do about that,” (as you may have in the past), you can choose to employ some of what you learned (previously, when you weren’t under the gun) to make your writing more concise. You edit the paper accordingly. You turn it in.

When your instructor hands the papers back the following week, there are far fewer instances of “awkward,” “unclear,” etc. in the margins. Voila! You’ve made a positive change in your writing process!

What does this have to do with procrastination? Well, making one small change in your writing process creates momentum. You begin to feel more positive about your writing. You begin to be less intimidated by writing assignments. And—eventually—you start them earlier, because they just aren’t as big a deal as they used to be.

Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in your writing gives you a sense of control. Your writing problems are solvable problems. Working on your writing when you don’t have a deadline helps you gain insight and momentum. Soon, writing becomes something that, while you may not look forward to it, you don’t dread quite as much. Thus, you don’t procrastinate quite as much.

This strategy also accounts for the fact that if you perceive procrastination as having been successful for you in the past, you aren’t going to give it up right away

Hone your proofreading and editing skills

If you procrastinate on writing because you don’t like to re-read what you have written, the good news is this: you can learn specific proofreading , revising , and editing strategies. If you finish your paper ahead of time, and you re-read it, and you don’t like it, you have options. Writing a first draft that you don’t like doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer. Many writers—in fact, I would venture to say most—hate their first drafts. Neither Leo Tolstoy nor Toni Morrison produce(d) brilliant prose the first time around. In fact, Morrison (a big fan of revision) said recently that you don’t have to love your writing just because you wrote it! If you practice some revision and editing strategies, you may feel more comfortable with the idea of re-reading your papers. You’ll know that if you find weaknesses in the draft (and you will), you can do something to improve those areas.

Learn how to tell time

One of the best ways to combat procrastination is to develop a more realistic understanding of time. Procrastinators’ views of time tend to be fairly unrealistic. “This paper is only going to take me about five hours to write,” you think. “Therefore, I don’t need to start on it until the night before.” What you may be forgetting, however, is that our time is often filled with more activities than we realize. On the night in question, for instance, let’s say you go to the gym at 4:45 p.m. You work out (1 hour), take a shower and dress (30 minutes), eat dinner (45 minutes), and go to a sorority meeting (1 hour). By the time you get back to your dorm room to begin work on the paper, it is already 8:00 p.m. But now you need to check your email and return a couple of phone calls. It’s 8:30 p.m. before you finally sit down to write the paper. If the paper does indeed take five hours to write, you will be up until 1:30 in the morning—and that doesn’t include the time that you will inevitably spend watching TV.

And, as it turns out, it takes about five hours to write a first draft of the essay. You have forgotten to allow time for revision, editing, and proofreading. You get the paper done and turn it in the next morning. But you know it isn’t your best work, and you are pretty tired from the late night, and so you make yourself a promise: “Next time, I’ll start early!”

Make an unschedule

The next time you have a writing deadline, try using an unschedule to outline a realistic plan for when you will write. An unschedule is a weekly calendar of all the ways in which your time is already accounted for. When you make an unschedule, you consider not only your timed commitments such as classes and meetings, but also your untimed activities such as meals, exercise, errands, laundry, time with friends and family, and the like. It is not a list of what you should do in a given week; rather it is an outline of the time that you will necessarily spend doing other things besides writing.

Once you have made your unschedule, take a look at the blank spaces. These represent the maximum number of hours that you could potentially spend writing. By starting with these blank spaces as a guide, you will be able to more accurately predict how much time you will be able to write on any given day. You may be able to see, for instance, that you really don’t have five hours to spend writing on the night before the paper is due. By planning accordingly, you will not only get a better night’s sleep, you may also end up with a better paper!

The unschedule might also be a good way to get started on a larger writing project, such as a term paper or an honors thesis. You may think that you have “all semester” to get the writing done, but if you really sit down and map out how much time you have available to write on a daily and weekly basis, you will see that you need to get started sooner, rather than later. In addition, the unschedule may reveal especially busy weeks or months, which will help you budget time for long-term projects.

Perhaps most importantly, the unschedule can help you examine how you spend your time. You may be surprised at how much (or how little) time you spend watching television, and decide to make a change. It’s especially important that you build time for fun activities into your unschedule. Otherwise, you will procrastinate in order to steal time for relaxation.

You can also use the unschedule to record your progress towards your goal. Each time you work on your paper, for example, mark it on the unschedule. One of the most important things you can do to kick the procrastination habit is to reward yourself when you write something, even if (especially if) that writing is only a little piece of the whole. Seeing your success on paper will help reinforce the productive behavior, and you will feel more motivated to write later in the day or week.

Set a time limit

Okay, so maybe one of the reasons you procrastinate on writing projects is that you just plain hate writing! You would rather be at the dentist than sitting in front of your computer with a blank Microsoft Word document staring you in the face. In that case, it may be helpful to set limits on how much time you will spend writing before you do something else. While the notation “Must work on Hemingway essay all weekend” may not inspire you to sit down and write, “Worked on Hemingway essay for ½ hour” just might. Or, if you tell yourself that you will write “all weekend,” for instance, the sheer agony of the thought may keep you from doing any writing at all. If, however, you say that you will write for two hours on Saturday afternoon, you may actually accomplish something. The important thing here is to keep your commitment to yourself. Even if, at the end of the two hours, you think you could keep going, stop. Go outside and enjoy the weather. Your procrastinating self needs to be able to trust your new non-procrastinating self the next time you say you will only write for a certain amount of time. If you go overboard this time, then the next time you say, “I’ll write for two hours and then stop,” the procrastinator within will respond, “Yeah, right! I’m going rollerblading!”

On the other hand, it may work better for you to trick yourself into working on your paper by telling yourself you’re only going to write for two hours, but then continuing to work if you’re feeling inspired. Experiment with both approaches and see which one seems to work best for you.

Be realistic about how long it takes you to write

Procrastinators tend to be heroic about time; they estimate that it will take them two hours to complete a task that would take most people four. Once you have determined that procrastination is hurting your writing, begin taking notice of how long it actually takes you to write. Many students have a “page an hour” rule. Perhaps you can write a page in an hour if you are totally rested, fed, and focused, your roommate isn’t home, and the wind is blowing just right. But what if the phone rings, what if you are tired, and what if you have to go to the bathroom? When you estimate how long it will take you to write something, expect that there will be interruptions along the way.

Parting thoughts

As you explore why you procrastinate and experiment with strategies for working differently, don’t expect overnight transformation. You developed the procrastination habit over a long period of time; you aren’t going to stop magically. But you can change the behavior, bit by bit. If you stop punishing yourself when you procrastinate and start rewarding yourself for your small successes, you will eventually develop new writing habits. And you will get a lot more sleep.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Burka, Jane M., and Lenora M. Yuen. 1983. Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now . Boston: Addison-Wesley Publishing.

Ellis, Albert, and William J. Knaus. 1977. Overcoming Procrastination . New York: Signet.

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essay procrastination habit

Essay on Procrastination

Have you ever postponed your homework until the last minute? Or maybe you studied for a test the day before? 

Maybe it's too late to write a story until the last hour? We are all guilty of delaying jobs and postponing important work until the latest date. This is actually procrastination. It is the act of deliberately delaying any task or activity. In this case, we will look at the causes and solutions to this problem.

About Procrastination

As we shall see in this article, this is not a coincidence. Almost everyone is guilty of it at some point in their lives. So we ask ourselves this question - why do people procrastinate or are so busy all the time? 

We live in the 21st century when time is of the essence. However, we are wasting our precious resources by wasting our time.

Saint Kabir had advised: what you have to do tomorrow, do today; what you have to do today, do it now. Procrastination is the habit of delaying a task or an activity until a later date. The habit of procrastinating the doing things is one of the worst habits of a person. People tend to be slothful to put off the finishing of a piece of work, implementation of a plan till another time. Life is not certain and it is possible that circumstances may change and one may not be able to do the work at all. It is good to procrastinate on things that are bad, but we are right and what we have decided to do, we must do in time.

Reasons for Procrastinating

One of the major reasons for procrastinating on a task is slothfulness. When a person is indulged in luxuries and slothfulness, it will blunt his edge of urge for action. When a person starts fearing the outcome of the task, he tends to procrastinate the task for a later date. Other factors for procrastinating work for a later date are low self-esteem, weak determination, less focus and distraction and also high impulsiveness. 

Procrastination is Harmful

Procrastination is harmful in various ways. It maintains tension in mind. It will relieve you of this tension if you do the work right now. Putting off work till another time more often may keep us deprived of the benefits, which might have accrued to us from its having been done. Opportunity knocks at the door once. Opportunity lost once is lost forever. There is no guarantee that the circumstances will remain the same. They may change and you may have to repent later on over the fact that you missed the opportunity. Sometimes it may prove tragic and change the good side of your career to a bad one. 

A successful man is one who strikes the iron while it is hot. When procrastination becomes a habit, all cheerfulness and carefree living go out of life and we live a life of perpetual tension, which indeed is not a life worth living at all. While procrastination is harmful to individuals, it may be more harmful to groups, communities and nations. 

We must ask ourselves whether we do actually realise the dangers emanating from procrastination and, therefore, shun it. We will perhaps find the answer in the affirmative as well as in the negative. We are still procrastinating steps for development in certain sectors of our life. For example, we have been sadly procrastinating in the educational sector. Even after more than five decades of economic planning, we find half of our population illiterate. We have taken steps to eradicate illiteracy, but our steps are not fast enough. 

We have been procrastinating developing certain geographical regions of the country with the result that there are evident regional imbalances in terms of development. We have not yet been able to connect every village of India with a link road. This was the task of utmost importance, a task that ought to have been given priority in any scheme of development. Our pace of development could have been faster if proper planning and implementation had been done at the right time. 

While procrastination is regarded as a bad habit, undue hurry or haste is equally a bad tendency. Promptness of action is advisable, but an impulsive decision is fraught with undesirable consequences. One must not delay or procrastinate in arriving at a decision in crucial matters, but unless a well-thought-out decision has been taken, it is more often than not risky to convert into action. Decisions taken in a hurry or haste without cool and calculated deliberation are likely to lead one into blind alleys or unfathomed troughs which it is difficult to get out from. The golden rule is first to get satisfied with the correct decision. Action should immediately follow the correct decision. Action should immediately follow the correct decision. Evil actions contemplated as a consequence of anger, revenge, greed, larceny, lust should be put off as indefinitely as possible till they die their natural death. 

How to Avoid Procrastinating?

There are a few tips to curb the habit of procrastination. 


We must shake off slothfulness altogether. One must be up and doing. Avoid indulgence in luxuries because this makes one blunt. 

Value of Time: 

Understanding the value of time is very important. Nothing great can be expected from one who does not understand the value of a minute, for seconds and minutes make an hour, a day, a month, a year and the whole life itself. If the value of a minute is descended deep into our mind and heart, sloth will disappear. 


Idleness is fatiguing. One must, therefore oneself engage in some useful work like some household chores other than one's main occupation. 

To ward off procrastination, one must plan one's work. Detailed planning is necessary. The entire gamut of work may be divided into fragments and time fixed for completing each fragment will facilitate satisfaction and invigorating. What we must have to do right from the time we get up from bed down to the time we go to bed must be clear to us and we must stick to it religiously.


One may arrange the array of work in order of priorities. How many things are to be done and in what order of priority they must be taken — once this is planned in advance, then most of the battle is won and we can get out of the habit of procrastinating tasks.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Reasons for postponing a person may vary. It depends on the individual and the situation-to-situation. However, there are international reasons why people delay their activities and actions. 

One of the most important things is the fear of failure. When a person is slow to perform an important task or is not interested in completing it, the cause may be a deep fear of failure. It is human nature to avoid and fear failure. So by choosing not to complete the task, we can also avoid the consequences.

Another reason is a lack of focus and determination. Feelings of indifference and insecurity can often cause people to lose their will to do their jobs. 

This leads to self-control. Sometimes a lack of goals and objectives is also a reason for a person to lose focus. With no goal in mind, they end up wasting energy on other useless activities.

There are other reasons a person may tolerate it. At times, a person may be a perfectionist. This distracts them from other activities. And then there are other reasons like laziness, low energy levels, easy distractions, etc.

How Can You Stop Procrastination?

Although procrastination is a normal part of life for us, it can be extremely difficult to do so. Procrastination can ruin your life and cause you to lose control of your schedules and deadlines. So when procrastination fades, you need to be in control and in control.

One way to stop procrastinating is to turn a dreadful task into smaller steps. If a task or task is too difficult, we often put it off. But if the work is depleted, then we can deal with it one step at a time without frustration. You can also create a detailed timetable or timeline of some sort to help you with the steps.

Sometimes a change in the work environment can be beneficial. It can give you the energy you need to stop procrastinating and complete the task. If possible, get a friend or parent to check your progress. It helps keep motivation levels up and encourages you to complete the task on time.

The key is not to become too preoccupied with the mundane things of life. We are all victims of procrastination. As long as it doesn't interfere with your entire system, take a break and go back to work!

Short Essay on Procrastination

Procrastination is not a rare thing; nine out of ten people, mostly students, nowadays procrastinate their work until the very last moment and it is also realised that they often feel guilty due to continuous postposing of their important work. The reasons for procrastination vary from person to person and situation to situation.

However, some causes are universal and some may have a particular reason to delay their important actions or tasks. The fear of failure stands on the top and another reason why most people procrastinate is lack of motivation. 

Everyone needs motivation while starting a new task or action, but due to lack of motivation most, people procrastinate due to the hesitation of performing a new activity plus lack of motivation, while some procrastinate due to laziness, lack of interest and unwillingness to perform any work. 

However, the end product of procrastination is always negative, like people start feeling much guilty, less focused, worried about upcoming projects or actions etc. 

In conclusion, it should be stated that procrastination is rooted in many causes, such as numerous distractions, lack of motivation, fear of uncertainty and failure, and perfectionism. At the same time, the result stands the same with infinite consequences such as concern for career, studies, health, and personal qualities. Thus, procrastination prevents a person from rising through the ranks, succeeding in training, and developing a personality.

The major difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is that while the former put his decisions promptly into action and reaps the fruits, the latter procrastinates, thereby depriving himself of the fruit.

essay procrastination habit

FAQs on Procrastination Essay

1. What is Procrastination really about?

Postponing or procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing activities until the last minute or beyond the deadline. Some researchers describe procrastination as "a form of self-indulgence that is characterised by unreasonable delays in performance despite negative consequences.

2. Why Are We Here?

We postpone activities that we find "difficult, unpleasant, contradictory or just boring or oppressive." If a task seems overwhelming or raises serious concerns, it is usually very easy to avoid it. Another reason people put things off, says Sirois, is lack of confidence.

3. What Are The 4 Types of Retreat?

They say that there are four main types of archetypes to avoid or procrastinate: the perpetrator, the negligent, the excessive, and the person who seeks new things.

4. Is procrastination a mental illness?

Some people spend a lot of time in the monastery until they can finish important daily tasks. They may have a strong desire to stop procrastination but may feel that they will not be able to do so. Delaying yourself is not a diagnosis of mental health. But yes, less control over your mind is a sign of mental illness.

Procrastination 5 Pages 1295 Words

             Habits are things we do continually, over and over again, simply because if we not to do them, would make us uncomfortable. It might be physical or mental. To get rid of these uncomfortable feelings we carry out our habit. However, human is not perfect. Everybody must get their own bad habits, it is just the matter of how big or small they are. If I need to choose one bad habit that affects my daily life significantly, I would say procrastination as my most annoying bad habit.              Procrastination means always put off things that need to be done presently. This can be happened on me in various aspects. For example, I always hand in my homework just before the deadline, though I know I need to do that long time ago. When I promise my friends to do something, I usually do not do that immediately. I only do that until my friend remind me once again and again. Sometimes I get late in meetings though I have prepared enough time for myself to get ready. And it is so normal for me to miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts and do not cash the gift certificates or checks.              It is a really bad habit because it brings a lot disadvantages. First, I deceive myself things will be alright because I will do that later. Thus it always gives me a false sense of comfort. Besides, it wastes my time because I always postpone doing things. However, I will have to do that anyway so I always end up with doing it while I should be doing something else. This make me stuck and prevent me from keeping up my life, achieving my goal. It is also a sign of laziness which are no good for me. And I always feel emptiness because I always fail to do things what I am supposed to do in a day.              How procrastination develop in my life?              In 1995, the world's leading expert on procrastination: Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, suggested that there are three basic types of procrastinators. (Ferrari, J...

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Effects of Procrastination Bad habits are something people do over and over again, if not the person would feel uncomfortable. One bad habit that can affect someone’s life significantly would be procrastination. According to Cambridge Dictionary, procrastination is “ to delay doing something.” Procrastination happens when someone does not do something that needs to be done at that moment. Everyone procrastinates it does not matter if they’re a kid or an adult everyone can find something more entertaining than their work. Although for some procrastination can be a chronic problem , procrastination is a strong, strange force that keeps them from completing an urgent task. It can be the worst enemy to most people. Procrastinating can be one of the most frustrating habits to overcome but it is possible. It is also …show more content…

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It can be linked to anxiety , which can cause health issues. When people procrastinate all they are really doing is postponing their work and setting themselves self up for problems. Procrastination causes people to waste their time unnecessarily. People tend to postpone tasks thinking they will have time to do them later when in reality they do not. When people fail to do their work they end up missing the deadline for the task. Procrastination can also ruin someone’s potential, career and mood. By procrastinating people can ruin a reputation or even a job they have. Procrastinating can also make people lose their friends; they will eventually stop getting invited out because they are putting off things making them always late. It can lower self-esteem, people can start to feel bad and start to question what’s wrong with them because they can not complete the task. According to Social Anxiety Institute “The secret here is not to wait until you feel better first you start. You have to make the start first, and then the feelings of accomplishments and competence will follow

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