Have you ever aimlessly scrolled through Instagram, taken a Buzzfeed quiz to see what type of cheese you are, or started a new Netflix series just days before an assignment was due? If you answered yes to this, then I’m sure you’ve also experienced the overwhelming panic when you realise you have 24 hours to write a 1000 word essay, complete 2 past papers, and start compiling your non-existent notes. So, this blog post is dedicated to all the students who put the ‘pro’ in procrastination. We’ve compiled some helpful tips on how you can beat procrastination once and for all. We guarantee that your future self will thank you for this!
1. Break it down
We often procrastinate because we feel overwhelmed by the amount of work we need to do. So, we recommend breaking your workload into smaller, more do-able tasks, that you can slowly chip away at until its done! For example, if you need to write an English essay, you can break down the task by drafting an essay plan – first write out a topic sentence for each paragraph, then write dot points on what want to discuss in each paragraph and what ‘evidence’ you’re going to use, then eventually start fleshing out these dot points, and viola, you’re done!
2. Write a to-do list and celebrate the small victories
Studies have shown that people perform better when they have written down what they need to do. To keep yourself from procrastinating, write out all your deadlines in a calendar, then make a realistic to-do list of all the work you need to complete each day. Carefully track your progress and celebrate the small victories, like when you can cross something off of your to-do list. This sense of accomplishment is vital in keeping motivation levels high and procrastination levels low.
3. Remove obstacles
Before getting started on your task, consider if there are any obstacles that could prevent you from getting your work done, and then remove them. For most students, these obstacles are usually their mobile phone, video streaming websites like YouTube and Netflix, and social media. By putting your phone in a different room and blocking certain websites whilst you’re working, it’s easier for you to maintain your focus and you’re less likely to get distracted and procrastinate.
4. Take the smallest step possible
There are some days that you really don’t feel motivated to do anything, let alone study. On these days, it’s important to remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. Take the smallest step possible towards your goal – whether that be writing dot points for an introduction, doing one hw question, or reading an assessment notification. After taking that first step, there’s more of a chance that you’ll keep taking baby steps towards your goal than there is if you never started at all.
5. Advertise your plans
Your parents are likely your biggest supporters and will do whatever it takes to help you reach your goals. To prevent procrastination, advertise your plan to accomplish a certain amount of work to your parents, and get them to hold you accountable. This will create some external motivation so you can get the work done! You can also advertise your plans to your friends and hold each other accountable. Just think to yourself, “I told all my friends I was going to finish this by tonight. I have to get it done”.
Now that you've finished reading this blog post, it's time to stop procrastinating (as you're inevitably doing right now) and get back to work! It's time to kick procrastinations butt.