Fight procrastination — now!

SMU’s Counseling and Testing Services recently presented a brown-bag program for students and faculty about procrastination. With the end of the semester nearing, attendees were able to learn about why people put off their work, including anxiety, depression, perfectionism and lack of motivation. (Learn more about these causes at

Here are tips on beating procrastination to the punch:

Break down tasks

  •  Create 5- and 15-minute tasks. You’d be amazed at what you can complete in that amount of time.
  •  Most tasks have natural break points. Stop after 30 minutes and come back.

Ask for help

  •  Have friends keep you accountable.

Learn to say NO

  •  Know when you have too much on your plate, and do not take on anything new.

To-don’ts, to-dos

  •  Don’t create “to-do” lists; they create guilt and anxiety. Instead, create “success” lists.


  •  Understand the job and what is required to accomplish it.
  •  Devote the appropriate amount of time to the task.

Source: Glen Pfenninger, M.S.
SMU Counseling and Testing Services

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