Student Procrastinator

Recently, Ann, a First Year University Student posted this comment on this blog…

Dear Marc Dussault:
I recently purchased your book. It has now been a week and while I agree with a lot of the suggestions in your book, I have yet to start implementing them yet.

I was a procrastinator in high school. Somehow though I managed to succeed enough to well and still get into the Engineering degree of my choice.
However the same methods don’t work anymore in university. University is so different from high school!

Yet for almost the past 5-6 years this is all I have done in order to complete my studies. I understand everything your book says and I appreciate the e-mail tips; I do the exercises and I try to eat well as well as sleep, but still… I just can’t seem to start.

What’s wrong with me? I’ve researched on the net, and apparently there are not only procrastinators but also chronic procrastinators as well. I think I may be one for sure, for I’ve been procrastinating so long I don’t really know what the meaning of “study” is anymore…

I make lists and lists of what I want to achieve. Each time changing and changing the detail or format, and hoping that I will implement it (I tried to start with this technique from your book first). But somehow I just become tired by the large amount of uni work covered in the day or even if I’m not tired I just would rather have fun things to do.

I really want to succeed and do well… that should be enough motivation… but I still can’t keep it up. I did the 8-minute technique and it seemed to work well, that I actually kept going. But the next day, I looked at the same piece of math homework and I could not bring myself to continue doing it. I literally was having a mental argument inside my head for the pros and cons of not doing the homework, that I physically felt like I was actually getting stressed.

Where do I start? And why can’t I stay motivated?

In saying all of this, I have a mathematics exam this Friday…

Sincerely requiring help………….!


First of all, Ann, you’re “owning” the label of procrastinator just a little too seriously – what that means is that you SEE YOURSELF and THINK YOU’RE a procrastinator, which means you’re going to continue to procrastinate. Let’s face it – the label of regular every day LOSER is not enough, you need an even WORSE label… “Chronic Procrastinator!” which is a TOTAL LOSER!

How does that make you feel? Because it’s true – procrastinators, especially chronic ones never achieve anything because they never get anything finished – many don’t even start – LIKE YOU!

How do you feel about being branded a LOSER?

Procrastinator sounds better doesn’t it?!?!

You’re still a LOSER…

UNLESS you are just “doing procrastination”… That means you just slipped and got into a bad habit and are in fact a winner who just slipped up…

Is that it? Are you really a WINNER who just had a lapse of judgment and discipline?

Or are you really a LOSER? If you are a LOSER, good riddance, I have no time for you – seriously.

If however you are a WINNER who just lost her way – watch this YouTube video for the cure to procrastination – it works even better for CHRONIC PROCRASTINATION!

Now seriously, how do you “Stop It!” ???

You’re stuck in what’s called Analysis Paralysis. All people with great analytical and technical skills are susceptible to this. The key is to USE your skills to START the process – ONE STEP AT A TIME right away and NOT keep analysing.

Use your sequential mindset to START whatever process IMMEDIATELY and then analyse each NEXT STEP after you do it – retrospectively, after-the-fact.

AFTER you’ve done it instead of BEFORE. That way it’s DONE and you can improve the NEXT step, which you take…

Engineers are notorious with this affliction – but it’s not incurable.

Here’s another question to ponder…

Why do people procrastinate doing their taxes?

And why do they do them at the LAST minute?

Simple reason – they HATE to do their taxes and then the PAIN of NOT doing them (penalties, hassles and interest charges are MORE PAINFUL) so they do their taxes.

So what does that mean for you as a student?

You obviously don’t like what you’re studying, otherwise you wouldn’t be procrastinating. What is it you don’t like? The material? Your professors? Fellow students? If you don’t like it – you blame procrastination which is an EXCUSE.

The real root of the cause is that you don’t like what you’re studying – or something associated with it.

You need to fall back in love with what you’re studying or PICK SOMETHING ELSE TO STUDY.

If you hate studying engineering in your case – guess what? You’re whole career is going to be “engineering” = something you hate….!

So the question really is “Do you like what you’re studying (engineering in your case) or not??!?!?”

If you do like what you’re studying and you’re not a LOSER and are still procrastinating – they you’re basically LAZY.

Yes, LAZY.

If you’re achieving good enough grades, you’re still LAZY and need a bigger, more ambitious goal to MOTIVATE you.

Aim to be on the Dean’s List or Valedictorian.

But you might not be up to that, or smart enough.

How does THAT make you feel?

If you want to prove me wrong, you’ve got the spirit of a WINNER, but you’re still a LOSER.

You’re only a WINNER when you WIN something.

If this has motivated you – tell me what you’re going to try to win and then send me proof you achieved it. I am sure the HUNDREDS of readers of this blog would love to know if you’re a WINNER or a LOSER.

There you have it – the challenge.

It’s all you need to STOP procrastinating. If you keep procrastinating, we’ll know it and so will you.

There’s nothing worse than thinking you were a WINNER when in fact you’re a LOSER.


How does that sound?

How does that feel?

How do you see yourself now?

A WINNER gets stuff done.

A WINNER uses positive vocabulary.

A WINNER sees setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve.

A WINNER seeks improvement NOT perfection.

A WINNER never uses negative labels.

A WINNER does not focus on the problem, instead on the SOLUTION.

A WINNER asks for help (as you did) and TAKES the advice.

A WINNER holds him/herself accountable to a higher standard.

A WINNER keeps raising the bar.

A WINNER shares his/her wisdom with others.

A WINNER realises that a lapse is nothing more than that – we’re all human and we move onward and upward!

A WINNER is what you are.

A WINNER is who you are.

4 Responses to “Student Procrastinator”

  • For my son, it’s the depression, frustration, and failure over his last five years that have (now in 11th grade next year) causes a silent anxiety attack, that he shuts down and runs away. He is IQ superior in math and reading, but at this age doesn’t have a life goal/passion to inspire him. He is giving up on college and I don’t know how to help him. We have talked and tried so many rewarding and consequence approaches. How do you inspire someone when they don’t have a goal and they are giving up on themselves? He tells me to just let him fail the year and maybe then he will hit bottom and want to help himself. Thoughts?

    • Unfortunately I do personal interventions. The best person to help with Motivation is Anthony Robbins – if you are truly committed to your son, you should seriously consider attending Tony’s event called Unleash The Power Within. he stages these several times a year across the US, here is the link.

      When someone’s on a collision course with failure as you seem to be indicating, the problem is usually because the person is lacking something fundamental, love, respect, connection, confidence…

      It then gets manifested in self-sabotage in school or work depending on the person’s age. In many cases it will extend to over-eating, smoking, drinking and drugs.

      My study book illustrates how anyone can use their skills to improve their grades so that as a minimum they can get by, pass by getting better grades than they are currently getting.

      That won’t work with someone who WANTS TO FAIL.

      That seems to be your concern and it’s a valid one. Hitting rock bottom in high school has potential repercussions for a lifetime.

      My suggestion is invest in Anthony Robbins’ UPW event and see what happens – I would suggest you do it sooner rather than later.

      I have to reveal my bias – I have attended UPW 5 times. Because each time you attend you learn something new. I also have to reveal that when I had employees – ALL of them would attend UPW as a requirement to keep working for me. That is how powerful and valuable it is.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      Dr Marc Dussault

  • Dear Dr. Dussault,
    I need your help very much. In school, we have been having a project which we are supposed to present to our teacher. We have been working with it for a long time now, and everyone except me have had their presentation.

    In fact, I haven’t even started yet. In the beginning it was because of procrastination, in addition I am a person who uses a lot of time to understand a task sometimes.

    The teacher had written which day every student were supposed to present, but three times now, when I was supposed to have, I haven’t been there. There is another problem. When I come home, I write down what I should accomplish by the day, but sometimes I sit a long time with accomplishing very little. I am much focused, but still I struggle with this.

    After watching this video, I have been determined to put of procrastination, but the thing is I never procrastinate in the week days, but I tend to do it in the more in the weekends. You might think I don’t care about school, which is not true at all. In fact, my dream is to become a surgeon, and I give a 120% in school each and every day.

    I have always been trying to do the best in school since day one. I do understand that medical school is very competitive, or at least I want to do. I want to put of this habit of mine, because there has been other times when I have done it as well.

    • Hi Ali,
      I understand your situation, but you haven’t asked a question. You procrastinate and yet you claim you don’t or you just procrastinate on weekends.

      That’s not going to work very well in Medical School – if you make it that far… Medical Students have to work non-stop 7 days a week.

      The only question I have for you is “Why are you procrastinating on weekends and not weekdays?”

Leave a Reply