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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?

262 Answers
Last Updated: 12/11/2020 at 2:50pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda Munroe, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), I have worked with individuals of all ages. My work with clients is supportive, interactive and nonjudgmental.

Top Rated Answers
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 :)
June 17th, 2017 3:47am
I would try and talk to a teacher or a close friend and family member and see if they can help you..
July 15th, 2017 12:57am
Try by making a list of tasks and starting with the small ones. cross each one off as you go so you know its complete. as every task finishes you can release some anxiety with it knowing that it's completed.
July 21st, 2017 2:39pm
One way to go about this would be to ask yourself why you are anxious and what makes you procrastinate. It could be that you don't like the subjects that you study or you don't like the teacher or you think procrastinating is cool because everyone is doing it. It could also happen that parental expectations and not getting good results is what's making you anxious. Once you find out what's troubling you, you come to the second step that is to find a way to get things done. It becomes easier now that you know what's causing the problem. If you don't understand or like your subjects, you can seek help from friends or your teachers because you know you can't avoid them. Peer pressure and parental pressure is a problem and you must not let it get to you. Believe in yourself and know that you can do it no matter what others say. And working hard instead of thinking will help you.
July 21st, 2017 6:09pm
As a fellow procrastinator, what always helped me is to set aside a time each day to just get the work done, no matter what. Even if I don't remember the content, even if I'm unsure about the answers. Because typically, just completing it is half of the battle; after you finish, you know exactly what it is you need to work on (helps with the anxiety) and you're a lot more confident walking into the classroom. That's what helped me a lot.
August 3rd, 2017 7:27am
Sometimes it helps to set little, tiny goals instead of looking at it as a whole that needs to be accomplished all at once. Also, if you break the large goals into smaller ones and make a list, it can feel really rewarding to cross off items on the list. That could help your anxiety, in addition to getting the work done, because you’ll see visually that you’ve accomplished something and you’re that much closer to your main goal.
August 12th, 2017 6:29pm
You calm yourself down first and then you try to work. You can take breaks in between and listen to music or eat while you work
August 18th, 2017 5:35pm
I have the same problem! You could try making it so that you have a reward when you finish your homework that you're not allowed to give yourself until you really have done it.
September 9th, 2017 4:54pm
In my personal experience, I've had to resort to working off of a rewards system for myself. It is very difficult but I would break down my work into pieces I felt I could accomplish at the time (this varied with every day as my anxiety would fluctuate in intensity) and do something I wanted to as a congrats for doing that part! This was as simple as eating a candy, to taking a walk.
September 15th, 2017 5:29pm
Start your day by planning and practicing mind techniques like meditation. Keep thoughts other than your work at bay. Challenge yourself to complete your plan you made in the morning
September 15th, 2017 6:13pm
Try some mindfulness techniques and relaxation breathing to calm your anxiety and think that you need to beat anxiety and get work done.
October 19th, 2017 3:01am
I have the same experience in the past. Making a priority list is what I do when this happened, it helps me organize things and makes me feel better. By the time I finished the tasks in my priority list, I give a supportive message and treat me for something tasty. It works and calmed me.
November 16th, 2017 2:27pm
I would say try to get it done as soon as possible, before you start thinking about putting it off, and then it'll be out of your mind and you won't have to stress or put it off anymore.
November 19th, 2017 2:09pm
Stop thinking and start doing anything. anything that gets you moving. then gradually come to your school work,because by then you will have the kickstart you needed...this may work..
November 24th, 2017 6:30am
Sometimes there are strong emotions that can get you stuck in situations that have shocked you.
November 24th, 2017 5:46pm
There's no way to kill procrastinating better than doing it. don't wait for a perfect moment or a perfect way to do something. Just do the way you can, even if it's going wrong, it will lead you somewhere. Study your lessons even if we are getting half of it, you are getting something that may fill somewhere. Keep distractions away. Don't compare yourself to others..
November 30th, 2017 1:41am
Take a second to ask yourself, what is making you anxious? What is the worst case scenario? The best? To stop procrastinating, set a timer on your phone. During that allotted time frame, do as much work as you can. Put your phone somewhere out of sight and try to focus on the task at hand. Once the timer goes off, you can take a break! Hope this helps you face your procrastination and get an A+!
December 1st, 2017 3:42pm
Procrastination is one of those things that keeps creeping into our lives. Sometimes tasks seems overwhelming and anxiety takes over and you end up being frozen in fear and getting nothing done. I find it helpful to break up tasks into smaller more manageable goals. Once you start completing one or two smaller tasks it'll be easier to get through to the larger task at hand. Also, if you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed at any point, you can always take a short break to focus on self care and then go back to the original task.
December 3rd, 2017 8:09pm
I usually set alarms to remind me to do my homework, or give myself rewards when I finish an assignment, such as taking a bath or a walk.
December 9th, 2017 10:36am
I make myself a list of all the steps that need to be done, even the tiniest ones like getting out a pen, opening my book, etc. It sounds silly but it feels good to check off the little things that need to be done and the rest of the task doesn't seem so big anymore. I also tend to procrastinate but this really helps me.
December 15th, 2017 9:57pm
Keep yourself organised. Create a timetable, and prioritise the harder work first. Get rid of all distractions: games, your phone, your laptop, anything that you'll waste time on. Take breaks and reward yourself later.
December 16th, 2017 9:47pm
First of all, breathe. Don't get winded up on school because your mental health is more important than your school work. Divide your subjects by little bits and decide what is due before what. Take your time and don't stress yourself out. What I do is figure out which work takes less time and I do it first, and then i do it till I finished everything.
December 21st, 2017 2:14am
I've had this exact problem myself. Although I understand this is easier said than done, try to treat your work as if it were easier than it is. Tell yourself you only intend to start the project/assignment, and you might find yourself doing more than that. If not, at least you progressed! Do a tiny bit more in a little while! Take baby steps, and try taking timed breaks (although timed breaks don't work for every assignment). You can also split the work into smaller, more manageable chunks to prevent procrastinating. Don't expect to completely get rid of procrastination overnight! It's a very long process. Even now, it hasn't really gone away completely for me. Even so, I've made immense progress and am doing MUCH better than I was during my worst.
December 22nd, 2017 10:35pm
Practice time management. Set times to do your school work. It is sometimes helpful to start with short periods of time and then reward yourself by taking a break, or a snack. A good time management will lower your anxiety by giving you a better control of your life.
December 23rd, 2017 7:15am
It can be tough to study when you are feeling anxious! The pressure to get things right in study can feel so overwhelming sometimes that it can feel just about impossible to even start! The more you tell yourself that you can't do it, or that you're not good enough, or that you'll do it another day, the more likely it is that you'll avoid doing your study. And of course, that then feeds into having more trouble with your school work. This is because our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and even how we feel physically are all connected! Sometimes changing just one of those things in this cycle can make a big difference! One good way to start working through is to set some small goals. Focus on spending 10 minutes on a study task. Can you concentrate for 10 minutes? Then in another 10 minutes, think about whether to try for another 10. It can help to break things down. The same is true of assignments. Sometimes an assignment can look pretty big and that's scary, but breaking it down into smaller pieces can make it much easier.
December 30th, 2017 7:08pm
It's all about taking a deep breath and taking things one step at a time. When you break things up into small chunks it's easier to tackle it. Set up a roster of what you have to do, and schedule it daily so you can tick things off when you're done.
January 1st, 2018 4:37am
First things first: create a soothing playlist. Select a couple of your favorite songs or songs that describe your mood. Calm down. Give yourself ten minutes to just listen to songs. Then, create a schedule or a list of things you need to do. Underline the ones that need your attention the most. Start out slowly and move your way down the list. Always make sure that you get a little break in between work time. Focus on something that you can zero in on whenever you're feeling anxious - whether that be a particular person or a thing. It's hard concentrating when you're feeling anxious, but you have to put yourself first. Remember that you always have something to hold on to and that most importantly, you are in control of procrastination - procrastination doesn't control you.