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I have trouble with my school work due to procrastinating. And my anxiety always gets in the way. How do I get things done?

225 Answers
Last Updated: 04/22/2020 at 3:39am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Ken Thom, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe that emotional dys-regulation is the underlying cause of all mental health challenges. I help people regulate their emotions and then begin their healing journey

Top Rated Answers
December 28th, 2016 5:46am
An important thing to do here is eliminate your distractions- put your phone in another room, shut down your computer, etc... As for the anxiety, there's no easy way to get around it, but a few deep breaths and reassurances often help with focus at least long enough to get some work done.
January 7th, 2017 12:24am
If you feel that your anxiety and motivation get in the way extremely, it may be wise to talk to your doctor about it and explore your options of medication, counselling, or even things like acupuncture. However, if you don't feel it is that serious don't worry, you need to pick up better habits. Try start on your work as soon as you get home then you have the rest of the night to yourself.
January 7th, 2017 7:24pm
I think it's important for you to talk to your instructor first and foremost. That way, they fully understand your situation and can help you figure out the best way to contribute to the class while managing your anxiety levels. What exactly are you anxious about? Are you just not sure you are doing things properly? It helps to have another person proofread your assignments for you and to work with a group of students so that you feel like you are not alone in the class. I hope this helps!!
January 15th, 2017 12:11pm
Anxiety is an issue that needs to be adressed first. I suggest that you sit down in a quiet place and ask yourself, what am I actually afraid of? Then, let yourself sink deeply in the feeling. Be unconditionally present with it, accept it, instead of fighting. Do it as long as you need until you feel relief. Our emotions are like hungry ghosts that need us to pay attention. Once you do it, your fear should lessen, and fade away, like a hungry ghost after receiving food. If you have trouble starting work, try the pomodoro technique. Get a timer and set it for 25 minutes. This period of time is referred to as one pomodoro. After one pomodoro you stop working, take a break. Then, when you feel ready, another pomodoro, and so on, until you get it all done. Good luck! ^^
January 25th, 2017 7:47pm
Try to take a moment to do something you love first — jog, watch an episode of something — anything that will help you to ease into the work ahead.
January 27th, 2017 2:25pm
I have personally experienced this on a large scale. Procrastination and fatigue prevented me from completing my work, and then anxiety over the building pile actually made it harder to work on it. The best way I found to counteract this was to physically put myself into a situation that completely destroyed any possibility of distraction, and made a schedule that I mentally convinced myself to never stray from. If you have already built up a large amount of work though, the best thing you can do is just sit down and start working on it. You have to fight to get over that first hump of anxiety that prevents you from even looking at your grades or how much work you have ahead of you, but you'd be surprised how fast your motivation and work ethic can change once you actually get started on the work and see that pile shrink before your eyes.
February 4th, 2017 7:40am
Try and make a planner with times and dates. This way you will physically see what needs to be done. To top it off highlight what needs to be done first and what can be put aside later if needed. It will not only help you stay organized and on top of things at school, but it will also help with your anxiety of not worrying when it is due and doing anything the last minute
February 5th, 2017 10:51am
Creating to-do lists and fun journals is a creative way for you to try and complete your work. You need to start doing at least one thing every day that makes you feel more confident and better about yourself. It helped me with my anxiety.
February 12th, 2017 3:10pm
Hello! First of all, I'd like you to think of your anxiety as a boost instead of a killer - use the unrest brought by anxiety and try to turn it into some kind of motivation. Now, not everyone will deal with anxiety's symptoms the same - it is important for you to understand how your anxiety affects you and in which periods you will be more able to be productive. Don't let it put you down, take your time to do your things and try to find some relaxation. Hope I helped!
February 16th, 2017 3:11pm
Set small goals for yourself. Get comfortable, bring some snack and spend 20 minutes with school work: giving a title to an essay, read e-mails. Start slow and be proud of yourself for starting. Build from there - babysteps.
February 25th, 2017 3:24am
Firstly, I'm in the same boat. I often struggle with my anxiety to accomplish my goals or even hang out with friends. In general, I think the most helpful thing is to look within yourself and see if there are any particular things that increase your anxiety. For example, I often get more anxious when I compare myself to others, so I will hold off on doing that. A great piece of advice I was given was that, if you don't compare yourself to others, then you're always the best. So, for me, introspection has always been the best motivator.
March 2nd, 2017 9:19pm
Ask for help. Talk to anyone and everyone. Regardless if it's high school, college or even work. You are not alone in those kinds of things and there are people out there willing to help, you just have to get up and get that help. You're not weak for wanting to get that help and get on top of those things. Yes, people will help build that organization and motivation if you have a bad habit of procrastinating. Not to mention, it will better help your anxiety. But take things one baby step at a time too, don't overwhelm yourself too much either. Take one assignment or even one part of an assignment at a time, and eventually you'll be fully caught up and less anxiety. I wish you luck!
March 10th, 2017 3:34am
Breathe. Also there is strength in numbers. My suggestion is getting involved in a study group or finding out when you are most productive during the day and going from there. For instance, I find I work best at night so I spend my days going to class and work. The evenings i save for doing school work. Also, some people prefer music while they study, having snacks, small breaks and setting the mood with a candle or background noise. Whatever your muse might be try experimenting and go from there. Try to study at home and try going out somewhere public. Everyone's anxiety is different so don't limit yourself to what works for others find out what works for you:)
March 10th, 2017 8:51am
Talk to your tutor (not peers) to help you plan your assignment and give you the reassurance you need that you are going on the right track to make a start.
March 16th, 2017 11:34am
Procrastination is something that is very common when it comes to school work. I suggest being very mature about it and giving you that push to finish it quickly so then you can let your mind be at ease.
March 16th, 2017 10:44pm
1. Make starting easy To make tasks as manageable as possible, ask yourself: "What do I have to do first to complete this task?". The answer will be a new task. If it's still too hard to do, ask again: "What is the first thing I need to do to get this done?". Do this until the answer is something trivial like "I need to move my right leg off the bed" or "I need to open an empty text document". Whenever you get stuck, simplify your current task using this technique until you find something that you can do. 2. Treat your future self with respect A mindset that helps me is to think about my future self. If your future self was another person, would you burden them with all your undone tasks? Treat tomorrow's self just as well as you'd treat a friend. For example, don't leave your stuff lying around in their (your) bedroom. You want them to wake up in the morning and be happy about the new day instead of dragged down by the chaos that has to be cleaned up. 3. Be compassionate with yourself Also, don't condemn yourself for wasting your time. You are doing your best at any given moment and letting go of the past will increase your chances of getting out of the self-sabotage trap.
March 26th, 2017 1:11pm
Get rid of distractions. Have a clear space for work. A space with no TV, laptops, cell phone, etc. Where you go only to do your homework. Take small steps, don't rush into your work trying to finish as fast as you can. Instead just commit to finishing it and it will be over before you know it.
April 2nd, 2017 5:50pm
In my experience when I have trouble getting things done, I break up the work I have to do. I focus for twenty minutes and take a 5 minute break(to get a snack or walk around.) I repeat for about an hour. This helps me because I get a 5 minute reward for the work I do, and it's easier to concentrate for a shorter period of time.
April 7th, 2017 8:33am
I make three lists in order to accomplish just about anything. List A has my 5 top priorites for just that day. List B has tasks that would be great to get to that day, but are not crucial. List C has all other tasks that I get to when I have extra time.
April 8th, 2017 4:41am
Set aside a certain day and time to get your work done and during that time concentrate only on your homework and nothing else.
April 20th, 2017 5:14pm
If there is a lot of school work you have to do, I suggest making a plan and following a schedule. Having these two things will make some space in your head and you will be able to focus better on school which can make the anxiety weaker. That is, if you follow the schedule and plan.
April 21st, 2017 7:39pm
I suggest you do small portions at a time and when you're done reward yourself. I have the same problem, If I have a 3 page essay (8 paragraphs) due I will do a paragraph a day and reward myself with candy. it's important to remember you are more than your grade. :)
April 27th, 2017 9:34pm
When I feel anxious about my school work, it is usually because of my procrastination. It helps to schedule time every day to finish all assignments and to study, and lessens the anxiety associated with having to rush to finish an assignment.
May 17th, 2017 10:33am
Create a plan, something you can follow to make sure you do all your work with plenty of time left. For big projects, divide it up and do a bit each day, leaving enough for your deadline not to sneak up on you!
May 17th, 2017 1:22pm
I think there are different techniques that work for different people, but one thing I recommend is taking things at a slow pace, allow yourself the time you need knowing that your anxiety might get in the way. Develop a reward system for yourself (i.e. if I'm able to complete x amount of work tonight, I get to take a self care break). When you break up the work into sections, it can seem more manageable and less anxiety inducing. Planning out the time you're allowing for work, and seeing the time you've allowed for yourself can also help, as you can physically see that the work can get done. So, for some planners are really helpful. It's a matter of finding out what works best for you.
May 21st, 2017 10:11am
At the very moment you do it, procrastinating doesn't feel like such a big deal, because we tend to promise ourselves we'll do it later, especially when it's something that isn't always fun to do. The problem happens when we start feeling guilty, or annoyed at ourseves, or overwhelmed because there's so much to do, or it seems like such a big job we'll never get done. That makes you feel even more anxious if you're inclined to be a worrier, or struggle with anxiety. One of the things which I find helpful, is to set myself a time limit to just work on one thing. Sometimes it's half an hour. Sometimes it's an hour. Sometimes it might be 10 minutes if I'm really struggling. But I commit to whatever the timeframe is, and I know that when it gets there, if I'm STILL struggling, I can stop, and I still made some progress (which feels great!). Often though, it's the actual getting started we have more of a problem with, and keep going long after the time is up! I often tell myself that I'll "just do it" - and I'll make a start, to find that it gets done faster than I thought, and wasn't as bad as I thought, and you get a sense of achievement from completing even small tasks, which helps motivate you to do more. However you do it though, always break it down into smaller tasks so you aren't looking at something which seems too big to handle. Little by little you get there :) Good luck!
May 25th, 2017 2:33pm
Set up a reasonable schedule for schoolwork and work in breaks. It's a gradual process to begin working consistently and efficiently, so start off doing 10 minutes at a time and gradually increase. Break tasks down into shorter units and allow yourself rewards when you are productive. You could also do breathing and meditation exercises regularly to decrease anxiety.
June 9th, 2017 3:42pm
Well if you want to get things done, I think the easiest way is work and reward. Set a goal for yourself and when you complete it, give yourself a reward such as, "When I get my work done, then i'll play video games." Things will help you accomplish your goals.
June 14th, 2017 2:54pm
That sounds like a conflicting situation. It's hard when you want to get things done but your anxiety is getting in the way. Maybe coming up with some ways to de-stress and focus your mind before starting work would be helpful. Mindfulness and centering yourself can be a great way to calm down and help reduce anxiety.
June 16th, 2017 5:44am
Getting things done when we tend to procrastinate and when anxiety gets in the way can be very challenging. When I have to do things but I'm not feeling at my best to get things done, I try to set up a planning of the bare minimum I have to get done, then I try to divide the tasks as much as possible so I don't have to focus for too long since staying focused too long can be hard and I let myself rest and enjoy the rest of the time! Keeping tracks of what we have to get done with a planning or even a list where you can cross out what you did helps me with anxiety since I can see my progress, it has to be small tasks though (hence the dividing of the tasks in smaller ones!) that way you can cross them out easily :)