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  • Just tell yourself that you will do 10 minutes of work on an assignment. Don’t wait until you feel motivated to start, as motivation often kicks in from the act of starting to do something.
  • Use a timer to work in short stretches with breaks - for example 20 minutes of work plus 5 minute break. This is known as the Pomodoro Technique.

COMMIT: make a plan with someone else

  • Schedule a Writing Associate (WA) appointment to review draft
  • Make a virtual study date with a classmate or friend
  • Schedule an appointment with professor or mention to professor that you plan to visit office hours
  • Ask for help (if permissible) from a librarian, professor, classmate, SAM, etc.

LOG OUT: spend less time roaming the internet

  • Disable wi-fi on your laptop during work sessions
  • Install Leechblock, Self Control or another program that blocks out certain websites during set windows of time
  • Put away your phone. No, really. Put it away.


  • Write out some of the thoughts that run through your head that psych you out from working, and then write some counteracting, positive thoughts to encourage yourself to move forward.
  • Reward yourself! When you make progress, give yourself credit and a treat.


  • Make a short checklist of steps involved in a long assignment, so you can tackle one piece at a time. This can feel less overwhelming and prevent last minute stress.
  • Take breaks along the way.

This info sheet was developed collaboratively by professors and the Office of Academic Success, including the SAMs

Procrastination Info Sheet [PDF]