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Overview, Assessment, and Links to Step-by-Step Help

Tom G. Stevens PhD
Psychologist/Professor Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach
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You Can Choose To Be Happy:
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You Can Reduce Procrastination



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Do you worry that you procrastinate enough so that it is affecting your grades? First, see how much of a problem it is.  
1. Are you are making top grades, turning in all assignments on time? If so, then your problem may be too much worrying, not procrastination.  If not, then you may have a problem.
2. Do you complete all your reading assignments and have adequate time to study for exams?  If so, then again you probably don't have a big procrastination problem.  If not, then you probably do have a problem.
3. Do you wait so long to start #2 that you worry a lot about not getting everything done on time?  If so, then you should ask yourself if the luxury of waiting is worth the worry.  If it is then fine; just consider that the cost of working on that kind of schedule, and try to accept the worry. If you want to change, then try some of the tips on this page and also look at the tips given on the time management page.

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Examine your motivation for putting things off. Consider some of the following possibilities:

  • I dread it.  Is it because it seems unfamiliar and confusing? If so,
    =>Go to improving learning efficiency, motivation, memory, comprehension at

  • I am easily distracted by other things I need or want to do (chores, errands, family matters, TV, friends, etc).  In this case you must learn the rule, "First things, first: Do your activities in the order of their priority--not what you feel like at the moment." Meet your study goals for the day BEFORE you do anything else. Following that rule will give you self-control over your life and all the external distractions.  It will not only affect your grades, but your success in your career and all aspects of life.
    =>Go to time management page:  or learn the proven OPATSM time-management system at

  • I don't really have time to study, there is not enough time in my schedule for it.  If you want to succeed in college, you must make a practical schedule. (Or perhaps you don't really have a written schedule--only a vague one in your head.) Schedule at least 1-2 hours outside of class for study for every hour in class (and study effectively then) to make good grades. If your combined class hours, work hours, and study hours are over 50-60 hours, then cut back on your number of units or your work hours. 
    => Go to time management page:  or learn the proven OPATSM time-management system at

  • I am bored with my classes.  I am taking required classes I'm not that interested in (and there are much more interesting things to do in my life).  Many college students feel that way (and many don't).  Some of the complete college with good grades and some don't.  Which do you want to be?  It is the ones who find a way to get their work done by making it a priority that succeed.  One thing that works for many students is to think of it as a job.  How much do you enjoy most jobs that you have had? You may not enjoy going to work, but you work 8-5 anyway so that you can be paid.  Try setting up a 40 hour (or whatever it takes) 8-5 (9-6 or whatever) schedule for school.  That means you are either in class or studying from 8-5 every day.  After 5 you are free to work, play, do errands or chores, or whatever you want.
     =>Go to improving learning efficiency, motivation, memory, comprehension at

  • I don't know what I want to major in and have little motivation in my classes.  Make it a priority to choose a major and potential career.  Start now.
    => Go to the career decision page:

  • I just don't have much motivation for college.  Why are you in college? Is it to please someone else or yourself?  To find motivation, you must decide that you want to be in college for yourself so that it will make your life happier by learning, developing yourself, and being successful in the career that you want.  Perhaps you would benefit from seeing a college counselor at your community college or university counseling or career center.  Some colleges offer services--especially career information resources--for non-students (though there may be a charge).

  • I have enough motivation for college, I'm just not very organized or let other activities distract me from studying.   If you don't have a good time-management system, you may not realize that the most successful business and professional people almost all have some time-management system they use daily to set goals, objectives, and priorities and manage their weekly schedule.  They also include time to lead a balanced lifestyle; which is also planned and scheduled.  To learn a proven system used by thousands (and incorporating the features found in almost all top time-management systems,
    GO to:

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Procrastination Help

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The BOOK (free download): Go to Contents of Dr. Stevens'  book,  You Can Choose To Be Happy: "Rise Above" Anxiety, Anger, and Depression.

FREE SELF-HELP materials available on this web site (click here to see list)  

  How to ORDER You Can Choose To Be Happy  

Success and Happiness Attributes Questionnaire (SHAQ)  to assess self on many factors  including HQ-Happiness Quotient 

Email feedback to Dr. Stevens I welcome your comments about my web site or any of its contents.           

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Web site created and maintained by: Tom G. Stevens PhD Psychologist-Faculty Emeritus,
California State University, Long Beach Counseling and Psychological Services.
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