How To Deal With Procrastination as a Student?

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 4th, 2023

How To Deal With Procrastination as a Student - featured image

No person in the world is completely free from the alluring call of laziness.

To walk the dog, wash the dishes, study for the exam, or clean the apartment, you need to summon your will, get up from a warm couch, and overcome inertia. But there’s a more insidious phenomenon called procrastination. It’s much more difficult to identify and harder to eradicate. If you’re a student, you must take concrete steps to overcome it to thrive and accomplish your tasks with efficiency. How? Read on to learn about proven methods to deal with procrastination as a student.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of putting off delaying or deferring an action to a later time. According to EssayAssistant, a separate term for this phenomenon appeared in 1977 when two scientific articles revealing the concept of procrastination were published. But the story goes much deeper than that. Even the ancient Egyptians used two verbs with a very similar meaning. The first of them was positive and signaled the ability to put off meaningless matters, ward off vanity, and focus on the important. The second verb was negative and used to signify putting off important matters. Cicero considered procrastination in decision-making and action as imprudent in all cases. The Athenian historian Thucydides considered procrastination as the most harmful human trait. Procrastination is a tendency to postpone important matters, and it can become a habit of the mind. It stands in contrast to laziness, where a person does not do a thing and does not worry about it. Procrastination is often a major source of stress and anxiety for students. Despite all the worries, important tasks still give way to insignificant and comfortable activities, and the whole thing turns into a vicious cycle.

young male student procrastinating

The Main Reasons For Procrastination Among Students:

Low self-esteem

Procrastination is a consequence of a lack of confidence in yourself, your abilities, and the value of the work to be done. Because of this, instead of efficient and fast execution, each task goes through several stages of evaluation. First, you may convince yourself that you can’t handle the task. And afterward, even if you start working on it, you may be second-guessing yourself.


One of the most striking causes of procrastination lies in a quest to get a perfect result. If you’re a perfectionist, you might spend too much time paying attention to details while subconsciously ignoring the big picture. As a result, you might miss your deadlines, your work might stagnate at the initial stage while other important stages remain untouched.

Self-limiting beliefs

It’s a harmful mental viewpoint, where you, as a procrastinator, deliberately restrict yourself for fear of standing out as better than others. This may be due, for example, to a fear of new, higher education-related demands or criticism. In many respects, such self-limitations are a consequence of the lack of confidence in your abilities.


According to this theory, you might feel dissatisfied with the fact of having a demanding social role, and lots of study-related pressure. Here, the postponement symbolizes a personal protest, the ability to act contrary to what others expect from you. As a result, you can form a specific defensive reaction and reject an unpleasant task under the guise of protest.

Temporal Motivation Theory

This is the most substantiated theory, according to which you constantly evaluate the subjective value of the task at hand. In short, you’re much happier to get down to business knowing that it will not take too long and that the reward will be high enough. Conversely, the longer the task, the less motivated you are to do it. Much depends on your levels of purposefulness and diligence, which are largely dictated by your personality and belief systems.

Process orientation

Here, you derive satisfaction from the work process rather than the result. Such an orientation leads to your goal turning into a vague direction, rather than a specific endpoint. You might avoid specific deadlines because the completion of the task has a negative connotation. That’s why you’ll subconsciously seek to delay the process of completion.

a student female procrastinating at a desk

Best Ways To Deal With Procrastination As A Student

Are you tired of the constant failure to meet deadlines, poor quality of work, or complete failure to complete tasks and goals? Are you overwhelmed by constant discontent from professors, incessant stress, and a deep sense of guilt toward yourself and others? Then you are ready to fight against procrastination. I want to warn you that there is no universal and guaranteed effective recipe, just as there is no magic pill for all problems. But there are rules which, if followed, will have a positive impact on you and your productivity.

Use effective planning and visualization

Procrastination is not accidentally called the disease of the century. The realities of modern civilization are such that you have much more time and freedom than ever before. This leads to the fact that your study-related activities become free-flowing, and without set limits. That’s why you should plan your daily activities, so there’s no time left for laziness and idleness. If you’re a constant procrastinator, there’s likely an excess of free time in your schedule. So, plan each day, and visualize the success you want to achieve as a student.

Take up a study challenge and make it exciting

Lazy? Every time a thought arises about something you don’t want to do, immediately take it up and do the opposite. Reframe the idea of hard work in your mind and start treating it as a virtue that will bring many benefits over the years. It’s a great technique to help you shift your mind and just start doing it. Now you can cut off the search for reasons for self-justification at the very beginning and do the right thing here and now. It’s also worth adding that fighting laziness and developing a work ethic won’t be complete if your plans don’t include physical exercise. You can go jogging, get after it at the gym, or simply walk in the nearby park.

Eliminate the causes of procrastination

Do some introspection, find the reasons behind your particular strain of procrastination, and then come up with creative ways to eradicate it. Increase your self-esteem, learn to do stuff non-perfectly, set aside your prejudices and become the best in your field, find deep meaning in helping those around you, get fired up about great goals, and strive to enjoy not only the process but also the outcome.


The benefits of civilization are immense. But too much comfort can be destructive. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, total laziness, hours of life uselessly spent on the Internet – all this results from laziness and procrastination. As a student, you have great opportunities, which, if realized, can completely change your life. However, the majority choose the path of comfort and pleasure, rather than that of difficult and useful actions. Everyone chooses for themselves: to put things off and watch another YouTube video or to take up work right now and take a step toward a new, more successful life. What’s your choice? Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to become an academic freelance writer.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.