Do you work best with the pressure of the last minute riding your back? Does the stress of an assignment’s due date haunt you, but you somehow still always choose a nap over work? Are you more likely to clean your entire room than start that assignment that’s due tomorrow?
Yep, we know that feeling all too well. Sometimes, we’re feeling really crazy and even promise ourselves that we’re finally going to break our bad procrastination habits and commit to a productive semester. But, you know what? Life gets busy and we always end up falling back into old routines.
So, what’s a student to do? You may think you hold the title as The World’s Most Dedicated Procrastinator, but there are things even you can do to get your work done in a timely manner. Yes, you! So why don’t you read through this guide, give these tips a try, and see if you find your long-awaited cure!
1. Head to the library RIGHT from class.
So, you know how at the start of your day you tell yourself you’re going to designate ‘x’ amount of time for studying, but then after class you head back to your dorm and just find a million other things you would rather do? Even though you know how important school is, it’s really hard convincing yourself that studying should have priority once you have so many more tempting options in front of you. The best way to get past that obstacle? Avoid it altogether!
After class, head right to the campus library. The trick is to go there right away as if it’s part of your schedule instead of swinging by your dorm first. Let’s be honest, once you get back to your place, all the excuses start rolling in:
I’m already home – I don’t feel like going back out to the library again. My bed is so comfortable – I can maybe take a 10 minute nap before I start my work. I was just in class all day – I can at least watch a half hour of TV before I start my work.
So while your mind is still in learning-mode from class, make a detour toward the library where you’ll experience less distraction and it’ll be more difficult to form excuses.
2. Write to-do lists.
As simple and silly as a to-do list may sound, there’s a reason why so many people swear by them. This isn’t necessarily even about remembering what you have to do. It’s more of a visual representation of what you are or aren’t accomplishing.
Make a large to-do list and place it in a highly visible location that you‘ll see every single day. Right by your beside is the perfect spot for dorm rooms. When you procrastinate, you’ll be reminded of your incomplete assignments every night before bed and every morning after you wake. Trust us, it’s not fun trying to fall asleep after seeing the same assignment on your list constantly nagging at you every day, especially when the due date is soon approaching! You’ll sleep much better at night when the last thing you see before bed is a list of completed tasks all crossed off.
3. Prepare your study area.
When you find yourself making little excuses to procrastinate, what do those excuses involve? Some of the most common excuses include things like being too hungry, not having enough energy, or getting distracted by social media and other sites. Beat yourself to these excuses by preparing your work area ahead of time. How should you do this?
For starters, prepare a snack and grab a cup of your go-to caffeine fix. Your snack should be something big enough to keep you satisfied while you study, but something mess-free and small enough to pick at while working. If you focus better with music, grab your headphones and set up your playlist. Distracted by social media? Try using an app that temporarily blocks your favorite pages. Strict Workflow for Google Chrome is a popular app that enforces a repeated 25 minute work period with a 5 minute break.
What else typically distracts you while you work? Identify which of those things you can prepare for ahead of time, then get to work!
4. Reward yourself.
We’re not kidding when we say defeating procrastination is a hard task. You deserve a reward if you’re able to conquer it once and for all!
Come up with a reward system that works best for you. It can be anything from rewarding in intervals (i.e. 30 minutes of studying = 10 minutes on Twitter) to one big reward (i.e. If I finish the assignment by Wednesday, I get to buy that new pair of shoes I wanted).
I mean, a little incentive never hurt anybody!
Were any of these tips helpful for you? Share your feedback, tips and questions below in the comments or on Twitter!