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Five Ways to Overcome Procrastination
by Raymond Gerson

When I ask my students what their biggest weakness is in school many reply "procrastination." Unless these students learn how to overcome procrastination they usually get behind on their papers and other assignments. If they get very behind then they are likely to become discouraged, make poor grades and possibly drop out of school.

It is not only students who have tendencies to procrastinate. It is easy for any of us to do when we are facing important, but unpleasant tasks. Here are five things you can do when you find yourself procrastinating anything that you think is important.

1. Procrastinate the unimportant in favor of doing what you believe is important. You can use your ability to procrastinate to put off your low priorities.

2. Use rewards for motivation. Give yourself rewards for not procrastinating. Reward yourself for getting the job done. Deprive yourself of rewards when you procrastinate. Visualize the end goal and the benefits that await you if you take action.

3. Take the first small step forward. Set small goals and take little steps to these goals. When you procrastinate identify one tiny step you can take in the right direction. When you take that first step, the next one will probably become obvious and easier to take. This is how you can build momentum by just getting started.

4. Go after the most important task first. Get it out of the way. Brian Tracy says, "Eat a frog a day." The frog is an unpleasant, but important activity. Tracy is saying, do that unpleasant project first (eat the frog) and the rest of your activities will be easier and more pleasant.

5. Make the unpleasant task pleasant. Challenge yourself to make unpleasant tasks and activities fun. For example, if you are reading a boring chapter in a textbook you can try reading it out loud while impersonating different famous people. If anyone hears you talking in those funny voices they may think you are crazy or most likely you will both share a laugh. One of my students dances around the room while studying at home. Use your creativity and do what works for you.

Do not procrastinate applying these anti-procrastination strategies. Give them a try and see what happens.

Copyright 2010. Raymond Gerson

Raymond Gerson may be contacted at

Raymond Gerson has over 40 years experience coaching and teaching personal and career development. He is the author of six books, including Achieve College Success... Learn How In 20 Hours or Less. He also trains high school educators how to prepare students for college success. To take a free online college success quiz and receive a free customized report go to



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