How to Fight MBA Application Procrastination

In our blog, we provide news, tips and tools to help you navigate the MBA admissions process. Despite the volume of information that gets printed every week, we do not regularly address the fact that many applicants face a set of challenges that are very different from GPA, GMAT and resume.

I want to help applicants work through the road blocks to success that may include self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination, and generally feeling overwhelmed by this process. With this dose of “Vitamin MBA,” I hope to help you to overcome these challenges so that you can put your other resources to work and truly excel on your applications.

If you want to be successful, a good place to look for advice is with other successful people. I once learned Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secrets that helped him as a young comic in need of great jokes.  His advice goes something like this:

1)  buy a big wall calendar and a magic marker
2)  for each day that you accomplish your task (his was writing jokes), put an X over the day
3)  after a few days you create a chain of X’s, and you will be inspired to keep the chain alive
4)  DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN!

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I think this is very helpful advice for those applying to business school.  Many people procrastinate like crazy and set themselves up for failure by targeting one weekend where they will work around the clock on applications.  I have found that slow and steady is a much better way to go.  Sure, you might have your marathon essay sessions.  But on a day where you are working late, just be sure to spend 30 minutes before bed brainstorming, outlining or revising your resume.

Every little bit helps and the consistency will help to keep this very important goal alive.  Daily action can also help to eliminate the anxiety that grows when you push things to the future and put a lot of pressure on what you can accomplish in one specific day.

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