As students, the temptation of procrastination is far too real. One minute you look and it’s 10am, the next thing you know, it’s 5pm, its going dark outside and you’ve done nothing. We’ve all been there. But now the weather is getting nicer and spring is on its way, this means two things. Firstly, it’s now ten times more difficult for anyone to sit in the library with sunlight and heat streaming through the window. And secondly, assessments and exams are just round the corner.
So here are five procrastination busting tips to help you break the Netflix binge and get a bit of work done.
Move your phone away from you
This is really difficult, I know. You might miss your best friend put up a selfie that you need to like in support or an email from your tutor (one of many that universities send every single day). In reality we know our phone is probably our biggest distraction, but if you put away from you, you’ll hear if there is an emergency and you’ll probably finish your work so much quicker meaning more time to aimlessly scroll through Twitter once you’re done!
Set goals for yourself but try not to be a perfectionist
Some people are list makers, and some aren’t. But setting goals for yourself is a really great way to hold organise yourself, and there is something quite satisfying about crossing something off your list once it’s done. However, try to be realistic. You’re not going to write 5,000 words in a day no matter how hard you try so don’t set yourself up for a fall. Also, if you’re anything like me, you fixate over one task: ‘Is it good enough yet? Do I have time to redo it?’ Obviously you want to do things well, so give every task equal attention but when you have finished, put it down. Then when you are done with everything, you still have the chance to go back and make any changes. Chances are you won’t need to.
Get others to hold you accountable
If you find it ineffective to write a list and be organised, tell a friend what you plan on doing that day and then get them to ask you if you actually did it. You will feel so much more triumphant being able to tell them that you did everything you wanted to and knowing others are going to ask you whether you did everything means you’re more likely to stick to your plans.
Don’t work from bed
I know you have probably read this before and in reality your bed is the most comfortable place but try not to sit in bed doing work. If you can find a place that you can focus that isn’t your bedroom, you will find that not only will you be so much more focused, but you will also sleep better as you’ll associate your room with a place of relaxation and rest. This doesn’t mean dragging yourself to the library at the weekend. Working in coffee shops or with friends in communal living spaces are great alternatives.
Set yourself regular breaks and little treats
It is unrealistic to say you’re going to sit for six solid hours without your phone revising. It won’t happen and you’ll be left feeling disappointed in yourself. Try and work out a timetable for yourself that includes regular, small breaks where you can check your Instagram, get some snacks and make a cup of tea. You will find you’ll get more done if you are focused for shorter amounts of time, broken up by small breaks and treats.
If you’ve got any tips on how to stop yourself from procrastinating let us know.