I hate to admit it, but I procrastinate on almost every assignment. I’ve started papers a day or two before they were due, I successfully wrote a final paper on the day it was due, and I even put off writing this piece until the last minute. I imagine many writers struggle to get started, whether because they are uninterested in the assignment, don’t have the motivation, or lack confidence.
Lack of motivation is often the reason I procrastinate. When I need a boost, I fight the sweet temptation of procrastination with chocolate. This serves as a reward system for me. For every page I finish, I eat a piece of my favorite candy. If I’m having an especially hard time with a paper, I might turn to this sweet reinforcement after every paragraph I complete. The more I use this strategy, the more I associate my productivity with the chocolate. After doing this on a regular basis, writing papers (even the boring ones) starts to seem more enjoyable, and motivating myself gradually becomes easier.
For those who don’t find this type of reinforcement to be very helpful, there are plenty of other techniques that might work better for them. Finding the right way to fight procrastination can make writing more enjoyable and decrease the number of late-night panics that students know so well.
Writing Center Tutor
Antioch University New England