How to stop procrastinating? I suppose this just has to do with general study, but what are some things that can help me to stay on task? How can I limit my time procrastinating and do more work? 

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In line with what mwestwood wrote in #9, I remember reading a book by John Steinbeck titled Journal of a Novel a long time ago. It was a detailed record he kept of his problems and progress while writing East of Eden. He said that the first thing he did was to buy a whole lot of brand-new pencils. He liked writing with pencils that had soft lead and made a strong black mark. I believe he said he bought six dozen pencils and spent the first day doing nothing but sharpening all of them carefully so that the points were exactly the way he liked them. The next day he started writing East of Eden.

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In defense of procrastination, when one waits a while before starting a task, there is the good chance that new ideas will enter the mind. As a case in point, one of the award-winning writers for Time magazine admits that he cleans his drawers and straightens his desk and shuffles other things while mulling over his topic to write about.  His digression into office cleaning usually pays off with a creative angle for his story. Sometimes people do their best thinking in that "final hour." Of course, there is no margin for error once one ignites that adrenaline genius that only appears in the desperate hours. 

Another reason for procrastination in some people is the fact that they are perfectionists. If they finish a task earlier, they are going to feel compelled to fix something or redo something.  So, by waiting, they avoid the obsessive behavior.

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The best thing you can do to stay on task is to make a schedule and stick to it.  Plan what you are going to do.  Make sure you have a place to work that is devoid of any distractions.  Turn off the cell phone and social networking.  If possible, avoid any kind of technology.  Do not multitask!  Do one task, and do it well, and you will be surprised how much more productive you will be.

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I both like and agree with post #5's ideas about making a deliberate choice to do the least pleasurable things first and get them out of the way.  Another strategy that I use is to break the job into smaller chunks by setting myself a time limit for particularly unpleasant tasks like cleaning clutter or grading essays.  I will tell myself, "Okay, I'm going to work on this task for twenty minutes right now."  Using a timer for a short amount of time gives me a sense of urgency to complete the job quickly, whereas sometimes if I know I have three hours to get something done, I usually end up wasting the first hour.

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You might want to set a time (a start time and end time) everyday to do your school work. This will keep you on track and also keep your school work confined to certain hours. 

If you know that when you start your work, you will only have to do it for a set amount of time, you won't have to feel like you're sinking a whole day into one area/activity. Also, if you do this every day your work won't pile up.

To me, this approach is generated by the idea that if you can make work seem easier you will be more likely to get it done. 

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Procrastination is about things we don't want to do.  If we wanted to do them, we would.  When we put them off, we are then feeling guilty, which saps our energy, and we can also tell ourselves we're too tired to do these tasks.  So, what I try to do is work on the things I really dislike doing first.  It's earlier in the day, I'm fresher, and I don't have feelings of guilt to drag me down.  The rest of my day is so much more pleasurable!  It is usually obvious what I should get out of the way, but sometimes I actually make a list and put the things I hate to do first on the list.  This isn't a perfect system, but it seems to work pretty well for me. 

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One thing that I do when I've got stuff I really have to do is I write down when I start and stop working.  Then I can have an objective understanding of how much I work. I often procrastinate because I feel like I've worked hard and I "deserve" to relax a bit.  With the work log, I can't fool myself like that.

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I have been a procrastinator all my life (a long time!). I guess most people procrastinate. Macbeth says, "The flighty purpose never is o'ertook unless the deed go with it." The only antidote I have ever found was taught me by a wise man who was a professor of psychology at UCLA. It might be called the quota system. Or the reward system. You make a contract with yourself that you will perform a certain task for a certain reasonable length of time and then you will be free to do anything else you want after that.

I don't know if you saw the movie A River Runs Through It, which introduced Brad Pitt. A young man's father has a contract with him. If he will spend each morning writing a composition and revising it in accordance with his dad's editorial comments, then he can take the rest of the day off and be perfectly free after twelve noon to do whatever he wants. What this young man liked to do was to go trout fishing in the beautiful river in Montana. He went on to be accepted at the top Ivy League colleges and became a professor at the University of Chicago. The movie is based this professor's autobiography. Reward yourself with freedom to goof off! 

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