Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination in Essay Writing

Are you a writer with a tendency to find other activities to do rather than writing? Procrastination happens to the best of us, read on for some helpful tips!

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You need to write an essay and can’t make yourself start working on it. You’d rather do anything else — from cleaning your apartment to attending dance classes. These are all signs of procrastination. The fact that you can find tons of articles on how to overcome procrastination is a sign that you are not the only one struggling with it. Even though it is a popular term, not everyone understands it. From a psychological point of view, procrastination is more than just laziness.

Unpleasant tasks trigger anxiety, fear of failure, or boredom. Consequently, postponing them provides temporary relief. The pleasant feeling of avoiding a task now overpowers the potential stress of deadlines looming later. On top of that, low self-esteem can fuel procrastination. When you fear that you won’t do a good enough job, you avoid starting to work on a project.

In times when procrastination does not allow you to manage your assignments, you can either turn to a reliable essay writing service and hire an assistant there or start to explore the reasons for your procrastination. Then, you can develop effective strategies for overcoming it. Here are some of them.

Identify Your Triggers

When you find yourself procrastinating, take a few steps back to identify what caused it. Are you putting things off because of fear of failure? Does boredom make you seek distraction? First, you need to determine your triggers to address them later on.

Focus on the Positive Aspects

Try shifting your focus from the negative emotions associated with the essay writing to the positive outcomes of completing the task. Remind yourself why managing this assignment is important for your academic achievements. You can also try visualizing the satisfaction of getting things done.

Minimize Distractions

Silence your phone notifications, close unnecessary browser tabs, and find a quiet workspace to minimize distractions that can turn the writing process into an endless struggle. All of these things keep your focus away from your essay. Procrastination makes you do things you would not normally do just to avoid focusing on writing. Therefore, you can find yourself writing angry comments to some random videos instead of making an outline for your essay.

Defeat the Blank Page

The blank page can be paralyzing. You can fear writing the first word because your choice will be disappointing. Start by freewriting – jot down anything related to your topic, even if it seems messy or irrelevant. You are just practicing. This approach gets the ideas flowing and helps you start expressing your thoughts.

Focus on Process

You can spend hours trying to craft perfect sentences in the first draft. Putting so much pressure on yourself is never a good idea. Aim to get your thoughts on paper, knowing you’ll revise and refine them later. Keeping all the essay-related ideas in your head will not get you very far. Moreover, you can forget most of them by the time you finally decide to start writing.

Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism can be a major roadblock. Accept that people are imperfect and, therefore, can’t create perfect things. Moreover, we all have our own understanding of perfection. Your teacher might not necessarily see your essay as perfect as you intended it to be. Instead, focus on completing the task rather than achieving an unrealistic standard.

Set Realistic Goals

Break down the writing process into achievable daily or hourly goals. You know the deadline of this assignment and can plan everything according to your needs. For example, “write a thesis statement today” or “research for 30 minutes.” This approach creates a sense of accomplishment and keeps you moving forward. Also, you will know the scope of work for today, and the assignment will not seem overwhelming.

Outline

Planning your essay structure can be a great way to overcome writing anxiety. An outline or mind map helps visualize the flow of your arguments and identify areas that need more research. You will also understand how to transition from one idea to the next. A detailed outline will help you stay on the topic of your essay and divide it into manageable paragraphs.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

This technique is a great way of organizing your writing process. Choose comfortable working intervals and the time you need for short breaks. For instance, set a timer for 30 minutes of writing, followed by a 10-minute break. Repeating these intervals helps maintain focus. At the same time, you will not exhaust yourself while writing new paragraphs for your essay.

Find a Writing Buddy

Partner up with a classmate and hold each other accountable. Share your progress, discuss ideas, and offer encouragement. Knowing someone else relies on you can be that necessary motivation you lack.

Reward Yourself

Talking about motivation. Nothing can level it up better than small rewards. Finished outlining? Wrote a solid paragraph? Treat yourself to a short break, a cup of coffee, or check something off your to-do list. These small rewards reinforce positive writing habits and motivate you to keep going.

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