Do you ever find yourself constantly checking social media, watching videos and browsing the internet while your assignment deadlines are looming? Even though you know you should be focusing on your studies, you still can’t seem to motivate yourself to do anything. It’s safe to say procrastination is a bad habit that everyone is familiar with. When we procrastinate, we waste our time and postpone important tasks we should be working on. Soon enough our time has almost run out and we wish we started sooner. Here are 10 practical strategies that will help you with your goals.
1. Break down your work
One of the reasons we procrastinate is because the work we are facing is too overwhelming and it’s difficult to know where to start. Overcome this by breaking down your workload into smaller sections and focusing on one at a time. This not only simplifies the task you’re working on, but makes it seem much more manageable and achievable. For an essay assignment you could break it down into the following parts:
- Choosing your topic
- Creating an outline
- Writing the first draft
- Proofing your work
- Making final edits
- Final read through
Just remember to focus on one phase at a time and when it’s done move onto the next.
2. Eliminate distractions
Probably one of the most important ways to stop procrastinating during studying is to eliminate distractions. Close all those social media tabs, put your phone on airplane mode and move into a space where no one can disturb you. When you have all of these things around it’s likely your focus will be sparse and you’ll find yourself gravitating towards anything but your studies.
3. Find the right environment
Different work environments can have a huge impact on productivity. Have a look at where you are studying and if there’s a lot of distractions or the space isn’t motivating - think about how you can make it work for you. Do this by taking some time to figure out where and when you’re most productive. Do you need complete silence, music, natural light, blank walls or an educational space? Once you know the changes you need to make, either adapt your current environment or find a new space such a school library or empty classroom to study in. We guarantee it will have a positive impact on your procrastination levels!
4.Set yourself deadlines
Working without a specific time limit can be very unproductive as you won’t be able to track your progress. For maximum efficiency, set yourself more achievable deadlines for the smaller tasks you created earlier. For example: to have completed all research and chosen a topic by the end of today, or writing 500 words in the next hour. These smaller deadlines create an urgency to take immediate action and leave you with no time at all to procrastinate!
5. Work when you feel most alert and efficient
There’s nothing worse than trying to complete work when you’re not feeling your best. Listen to your body clock and figure out what time of day you’re going to be the most alert and efficient. Whether this is in the morning, the middle of the day or the evening, schedule in your study sessions to a time when you’re feeling great. This way you’ll have improved focus and won’t be as prone to distractions.
6. Spend time with people who inspire you
The people we spend the most time with have a huge influence on our behaviour and motivation levels. Identify the people in your life who inspire you to act or to just do better. Make sure you are spending time with them as much as you can as it will encourage you to work as hard as you can as well as instil a drive to succeed.
7. Re-centre your goals
With no clear external motivation or goals, it’s much easier to procrastinate as there is a misalignment between what you want and what you’re currently doing. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to step back and review your current goals. Ask yourself questions such as- what grades do you want to achieve and what you are working towards? Write down your new re-centred goals so you can stay motivated and focused during your study sessions.
8. Work in short time blocks
Instead of studying for a long 2-hour session, break up your time into smaller blocks. If half an hour chunks are more beneficial, set a timer and check your progress after each interval. You may be surprised how much you can accomplish when you know you only have a short burst of time to focus. It also leaves very little time to procrastinate!
9. Get an accountability buddy
Having an accountability buddy will make the whole studying process more fun and achievable. You should both have your own individual goals and hold each other accountable. Ask each other regularly about how progress is going and you could even study together to keep one another motivated. We guarantee you’ll both spur each other on to keep taking action rather than procrastinating during study sessions.
10. Schedule down time
If you study all day every day, it’s likely your mood and productivity will suffer. Feeling exhausted will also mean you find yourself gravitating towards distractions during your study sessions rather than focusing on the task in hand. Make sure you’re scheduling in activities such as reading, having fun with family and friends, or relaxing in a coffee shop. This gives you time to recharge and come back to studying with a fresh perspective.