As a college student, you can’t deny the fact that procrastinating is one of the things we’re literally a PRO at. How easy it is to just shove our assignments, projects, responsibilities into a vault deep within the furthest regions of our mind and swallow the keys and go on with our easy-going students’ life, only for them to resurface later on when the word ‘deadline’ unexpectedly starts to crawl up behind us and then sh*t gets real! Yeah, I bet a lot of us are familiar with this process and the panic and frustration that comes with it. This is also the time we unlock our special ability to cram an entirety of Calculus III in one night which, although quite impressive, isn’t really efficient. When we procrastinate, all we’re doing is avoiding the inevitable while also adding mountains of college stress and deadlines to our plate. It may feel like we’re doing ourselves a favor but it’s actually the exact opposite. So, you’ve been trying to exorcise this demon of procrastination out but no success? Don’t sweat it! Here are some tips that are bound to help you in your battle with procrastination. Mastering these habits will help you keep up your college homework, minimize stress, and have more time for something fun!
Break Down Your Tasks
This is probably the most efficient method. Separating, delegating, and breaking down your task is the straight way to being well-organized and more specific about your tasks. David Allen in his famous Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity reveals all his cards on how to manage your tasks. It’s a known fact that as college students we get bombarded with mountains of assignments, projects, paperwork, and etc. to the point that it’s easy to just forget about it all and go binge-watch a whole series on Netflix. But don’t lose hope so easily, try to break them into small parts instead. Let’s say you have a 15-page essay that you need to write; you can break it down into writing a page at a time, or even just writing for 15-20 minutes at a time. You’ll be surprised how much faster you’ll get through it. Always reward yourself after each accomplishment but remember to keep it proportional; like a piece of chocolate or 5 minutes of TV. Be careful not to overreward yourself and fall down the rabbit hole of procrastinating all over again.
Get Rid of All Distractions
Distractions come in all forms of shapes and sizes. It could range from your smartphone, the refrigerator, that picture of your dog hanging on the wall, or just a random thought that finds its way into your head. That’s why before you start your work, make sure to get rid of all surrounding distractions (well, the ones that you can get rid of anyways). Put your phone out of reach or you can download a website blocker like StayFocused or an app like AppDetox that literally stops you from drifting into the abyss of procrastination. Try to keep track of your thoughts and when you notice that you’re drifting in them snap yourself back to reality.
Choose The Perfect Study Location
It could be in the library, outside in the park, a study room in your dormitory, or even a coffee shop. Find a place where you’ll be free from certain kinds of distraction, a place where you feel utterly comfortable and can find the motivation to work. No one said that you had to stay at home. Plus, it would do you some good to change your environment from time to time.
You don’t have to be a lone wolf in your battle against procrastination. No one said that you couldn’t ask for help or seek support. Studying with a friend can help you beat procrastination in more ways than you can imagine. Choose that one studious, trustworthy friend of yours who can come over and the both of you can dive in for an hour or two in school work. It’s easy to get distracted without even realizing it when you’re working alone, but if you have a friend close by, who every time he sees you spacing out yells at you, this may be enough to get you back on track. Be honest with yourself and choose the friend carefully; preferably someone more focused and more studious than yourself.
Always Have a Schedule
Your time is limited. This is one of the reasons why students succumb to procrastination. They resent wasting time on homework and would rather spend time doing something more pleasurable. But in reality, by procrastinating, we lose the most time of all because the hours we spend in procrastination subtract additional time from the activities we love the most. In the end, this will make us forcefully devote all our time to homework and not have enough spare time at all to rest or do something we enjoy.
One way to beat procrastination is to always have a schedule. For example, make a plan to go bike riding every Saturday morning, or swimming every Sunday evening. You should also allocate time even for such a “basic” activity like reading and learning from textbooks. Make a habit of it so that these hours will be protected from impositions like schoolwork. Eventually, it will become easier to consciously choose other times to focus on studying!