Procrastination and how to avoid it.
Procrastination – putting off or delaying an important task.
We’ve all been there. Putting off an assignment all day until suddenly, it’s already 9pm and all you’ve achieved is binge watch the next 6 episodes of your favourite Netflix show. Distractions are everywhere, and thanks to social media and various other electronics, we are constantly multitasking. Here are some tips I’ve learned as a student to prevent procrastination and to help me to stay on track throughout the semester.
1. Declutter your study area! If temptations are in sight, you’ll easily become distracted. It’s amazing where your brain can wander. Also, you’re more likely to get sidetracked by things you see. If you can’t declutter or control your environment, try going to the library, where there are less distractions.
2. Set your study materials out the night before. Make sure that you lay out your all of the textbooks, notes and stationery that you’ll need to work the next day. That way, when you wake up, there’s less excuses to start working on your projects.
3. Put your phone away! This one might seem pretty obvious, but even if you leave your phone beside you while you study, as you see a notification flash up on your phone, your mind wanders elsewhere. Try putting your phone on aeroplane mode (if you can bare it!) Or even better, try to remove it from the room that you’re studying in.
4. Make a to do list and arrange it in order of submission. After completing your list, keep it in a place you’ll see it, such as on your wall or in the front of your fridge. That way you won’t be in denial about any upcoming tasks, and forced to face reality!
5. Set time goals. Sometimes, the prospect of a 4000 essay will put you off even starting the task. Break it down into achievable chunks. By setting yourself time deadlines, you can make your assignment more manageable and therefore you’ll be more likely to get started. Apps like ATracker are great for helping you to chunk down your workload into manageable segments.
6. Look deeper! A lot of people associate procrastination with laziness and trying to avoid a task they consider boring. While this is often true, sometimes there’s a deeper reason and you’ll need to understand the reasons for your procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. If you’re putting off an assignment that feels too overwhelming to tackle, try to chunk it down into manageable stages until you feel in control again. Or, if you are too scared to start a project in the fear that you’re work won’t be good enough, get in touch with your lecturer, or another student to explain your feelings.