How to Beat Procrastination in Winter Quarter

The Winter Quarter is officially here, and with it, so is our old friend — procrastination. Here are some insights into battling procrastination and tackling the new quarter:


1. The two-minute rule

What are you procrastinating on? Write that thing down on a piece of paper or say it out loud to yourself, then get up and do that for two minutes. Just two minutes — it’s very simple!

The trick is, as soon as you do it for two minutes, your acquired momentum may propel you to continue. And if you keep doing something for two minutes daily, the consistency could help form a habit. Many activities, such as going to the gym, may feel extremely unbearable when you picture them — but once you start to engage yourself, it it profoundly worthwhile. Remind yourself of the benefits of finishing that homework — that you won’t have to worry about it tomorrow or that you are more likely to get rewarded for decent work. In the long term, every little two-minute session helps you to become more empowered with knowledge.

2. Reward yourself

If you finish the task, give yourself a reward! Associate the feeling of accomplishment with something that makes you happy. You could go see a movie, hang out with friends, play a game — whatever helps you decompress.

3. Take breaks

People have different attention spans, but usually, one can only focus on a particular subject for so long. Take a short break every 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your preference and the type of work you’re doing. A nap or a walk would be perfect choices — but make sure to set an alarm, so you don’t lose track of time.

4. One Thing at a Time

A new quarter can be stressful, and it is entirely understandable if you feel compelled to multitask. However, the majority of us cannot truly multitask. Try to break down tasks and list them based on priorities, then put all of your attention on the one job you are trying to do.

5. Get a partner

Hold yourself accountable. Pair up with your fellow students to form study groups. Possible meeting places can be in a library, at a cafe, or in the STEM center and Teaching and Learning Center.

Dawnney Cheng

6. If possible, set a deadline for yourself only

Most of us, including me, seem to not panic until the night before our homework is due. Now try to recall the feeling — take a deep breath, and put down a secret little deadline for yourself, and work for it, as if it is the real deadline. This way, you can get things down before the deadline. Just reminder, when doing so, be realistic.


Hopefully, the above tips will help you tackle your new workload for the quarter. Just keep in mind: Done is better than perfect. don’t be too harsh on yourself. Try to talk to yourself as an understanding friend, rather than a prison warden. Having your hands on the task is a great accomplishment by itself, and the only way to perfection is to keep yourself from feeling too pressured.