Do you have trouble following through on tasks? Do you often leave things to the last minute? You're not alone.

Procrastination is a problem that many students encounter which can have negative effects on their academic performance. Online learning can mean more flexibility, which might lead to more procrastination. 

Below are 9 helpful tips that will help you stay on track and get things done! 

9 tips to avoid procrastination

1. Positive self-talk.
Write down the excuses that you often use to justify procrastination, and replace these excuses with a realistic thought.
EXCUSE: I’m not in the mood right now.
REALISTIC THOUGHT: Mood doesn’t do the work, actions do. If I wait until I’m in the right mood, the work may never get done.

2.  Motivate yourself with positive statements.
Focus on the success you will achieve and the joy you will feel. Bargain with yourself. For example: “The sooner I get the work done, the sooner I can do what I want”.

3. Set clear, specific goals for yourself and stick to them.
If you are working on a large project, set goals for each step and include the time by which you want to have them done. Breaking the task down can reduce the sense of being overwhelmed. A small accomplishment can encourage you to finish the project.

4. Make a list of the work that needs to be done and prioritize it.
Start with the most important task, and work down the list. Remind yourself that there is always more to be done than can be done.

5. Divide large tasks into smaller sub-tasks.
This helps make the work more manageable for yourself if it is an individual assignment, or everyone can be more efficient if it is a group project involving other students in your class.

6. Commit yourself to the task.
For example, have a friend or parent hold you accountable to it. This will add pressure, but for some of us, avoiding embarrassment is the mightiest motivator.

7. Eliminate temptation to do something else.
For example, turn off all digital distractions while doing school work.

8. Think about possible consequences.
Putting things off can have greater implications than we may realize, and repetitive actions can create habits.Not completing a task on time has consequences, either immediate or prolonged. The more you put something off, the more things will build up and the harder it will be to break the cycle and get back on track.

9. Reward yourself for completing required tasks.

What better way to motivate yourself than having a reward at the end!