Stop procrastinating and create a plan to get moving.
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Stop procrastinating and create a plan to get moving.

How to combat procrastination and stay productive

Students share their habits on maintaining productivity and how to keep procrastination at bay.

A robust campus and a somewhat normal semester is what all students look forward to. However, getting back into the routine of things can be challenging for some students, especially after being online for a year and a half. 

Students at Cleveland State University shared their experiences and the habits they use to maintain productivity and get back into a routine this school year. 

“I stay active and productive by planning and scheduling,” said Kaylee Catalano, a journalism major with a digital content production minor. “I keep most things written down in a list, and often use my reminders app on my cell phone to remind me when to be active and to keep me from being unproductive.”

Students can also take breaks to prevent burnout and maintain productivity. 

“I set little timers so I can have small breaks in between whatever assignment I am doing to stay focused,” said a political science major at Cleveland State who wished to remain anonymous.

While lists and scheduling help students be reminded of their assignments, some students like to keep it simple and look to their goals and affirmations to keep focused and productive. 

“My goals are to do my best and do it on time, no pressure added. I don’t want to stress, and I don’t want to make myself anxious,” Catalano said. 

She also noted that her biggest affirmation is reminding herself how good it feels to see her work complete.

“I get extreme satisfaction from seeing something I completed,” she said. 

Goals, affirmations, scheduling and reminders can keep students focused, but with productivity comes procrastination.

Procrastination, as defined by, is “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.” When procrastination hits, sometimes it sticks and can affect workflow, creating a stressful situation. 

One sophomore student at CSU, who wished to remain anonymous, said that due to COVID-19, a student's work ethic can be affected.

“Students have to deal with more stress than what they are used to,” said the student.

Being productive is important when completing school work, and having goals, affirmations and motivation will help maintain that productivity. Procrastination may get in the way, but there are ways to work around that. 

According to Psychology Today, procrastination can affect work performance: “Students who routinely procrastinate tend to get lower grades, workers who procrastinate produce lower-quality work, and in general, habitual procrastinators can experience reduced well-being in the form of insomnia or immune system and gastrointestinal disturbance.” 

Psychology Today also noted that procrastination can affect “personal and professional relationships.”

Students are more excited than ever to return to a full campus after 18 months, meet new friends and get involved with the community again. The return to campus can influence motivation for students to receive a better learning experience in a productive environment.

“I think a lot of us, or at least myself, may even feel more motivated to do school work or more obligated even, since we are finally back on campus and getting a semi-average [or] normal school experience again,” said Catalano. 

Remember, creating a solid plan to get by this school year may help maintain focus, motivation and productivity. Keep calm and stay productive.