Do you struggle with procrastination? Have you felt the horrible panic of wishing you had started a task earlier? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Student procrastination is quite common but it can be a massive burden on academic success. That invisible wall prohibiting you from getting your work done and squandering away all your free time can bring unnecessary stress and negativity into your life. It is, therefore, important to get it under control and not let it rule your behavior. Fortunately, there are several ways to overcome student procrastination. Here are 7 top hacks to help avoid those procrastination blues.
In case you want to procrastinate before reading this article, check out this hilarious TedTalk by Tim Urban on procrastination.
1. Pick One Task
In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing—Theodore Roosevelt
Just choose one task and focus on getting that done. Making a list of everything you have to accomplish, in say a week, can be overwhelming and result in a feeling of helplessness—in the end, you’ll get nothing done. Decide on one task and focus your energy on completing it.
2. Break Down Your Task
Often you are faced with big projects that will inevitably take a long time to complete. This is where fear surfaces—the fear of not being able to do the task well, the fear that you’ll be unable to finish it, or for some procrastinators, thinking the task will take less time than it does. Ultimately, breaking the task into different parts and allotting specific amounts of time to each section will make it seem much more manageable and simple.
For example, give yourself 20 minutes to read part A and once those 20 minutes are over move on to part B even if you haven’t finished part A! Starting the next section will ensure your studying maintains its flow. Once you’ve completed 20 minutes on part B you can go back to part A. This will ensure you don’t get carried away over-working one section and actually get the entire project done.
Effective note-taking also helps with student procrastination so be sure to check out more info on that here.
3. Set Yourself Five Minutes to Start
Starting a task is often the hardest part. Try the five-minute tactic: this is where you sit down with your task in hand and give yourself 5 minutes to make an impact on it. Within those 5 minutes, you must contribute something towards the task.
Research shows that once you begin something you are more likely to finish it.
4. Power Hour
Distraction plays a large part in student procrastination. Social media, chats, and your smartphone are all close by and are most probably playing a large role in your procrastination. You must, therefore, remove the distraction from your work environment.
A power hour is where you set aside 1 hour with no distractions. That means turning off your phone, logging out of social media, and focusing for a solid hour only on your task.
5. Reward Yourself
Rewards are important. Choose your task and decide what your reward will be once you finish it. For example, take a coffee break with a friend, watch a TV episode, or check social media, and only reward yourself if you do what you set out to.
Rewards help with motivation and refocusing.
6. Fight Student Procrastination By Changing Your Environment
Sitting in the same chair at the same desk for hours on end will result in a study funk. Changing up your environment is critical to successfully avoiding procrastination. Habits are easier to alter when we have a corresponding environment change. If you always study in your bedroom try moving to the library, or if you always study in the library try working at a quiet café.
Here's a guide to the best library study spots.
7. Choose a Buddy
Make yourself accountable to other people. Hanging out with focused people, (non-procrastinators in other words), is a great way to motivate yourself. It also ensures that someone is holding you accountable and checking up on your progress, reminding you of your responsibilities. Knowing you’re not alone can also make those long library hours more bearable. Try organizing a study group or a study session with a study-buddy. Together you can overcome your procrastination habits!
Now stop reading this article and get working!