How to stop procrastinating. Procrastination is common no matter what age group. Kids procrastinate doing assignments, teenagers procrastinating chores, and adults procrastinate work. Many students at some point in high school have procrastinated in starting their homework, completing a project or studying for a test. Procrastination is also common among college students. You probably know what you should be doing but you just don’t want to do it. It’s easy to put off hard or time consuming assignments until the very last minute, but if you do, you then may have to pull a stress-induced all-nighter. There are many different situations people procrastinate in, and to different extents. Procrastination can lead to serious consequences, whether it be in social situations, in work, mental health, etc.
Here are some tips to avoid procrastination:
Schedule, make goals, use time-management platforms
Scheduling your tasks in different ways, such as mentally being cautious, making to-do lists, project planning help keep in track tasks that need to be completed.
Setting specific deadlines for work or levels within work also helps. Pushing yourself to complete a certain amount of work within a given time and slowly finishing the entire task with mini-deadlines, or even big ones, may increase motivation to complete tasks on time. Additionally, there are different task and time management apps that help, like Trello and Toggl, or the Reminders app on the iPhone.
You are more likely to procrastinate if you don’t have a set plan or idea for completing your work. Investing in a planner is a good idea. Start keeping track of all your assignments and their due dates. When you’re organized, it gives you a more orderly and measured framework within which to work.
Promise yourself a reward
Most people tend to work better when they have an incentive at the end of their task. It’s like when a child works hard for their test in return for some sort of gift from their parents, such as a gold star, chocolate, a trip to the park, etc.
The same applies to adults, for example, with a job promotion, people usually tend to gift themselves a new phone, a vacation, etc, for their hard work. Within your means, set a reward for yourself after you complete your tasks, whether it’s a few hours of Netflix, a slice of cake, or a new set of earphones. This will definitely help push you to work harder, as once you’ve completed your task, you can “claim” your reward.
Have someone hold you accountable
Whether its your mom, your friend, your teacher, there are always people in life that will somehow let you know if you’re heading in the wrong direction, in their opinion.
In this situation, once you are aware of your procrastination, you can ask a loved one to help you out by keeping you in check. Whether it’s bugging you, or frequently checking up on how much work is completed, your close ones can help remind you that you have tasks to complete. Peer pressure works! This is why people form online study groups, to hold each other accountable.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Holding yourself accountable for completing your assignments on time, studying for tests and getting good grades is another tip to avoid procrastination. While it is easy to find reasons not to study and take unnecessary or extra-long breaks, catch yourself before this happens. Remember that you are responsible for the assignments you complete or don’t complete, the tests you ace or don’t do so well on, and your grades. If you need help in holding yourself accountable, tell a friend or family member and ask them to check up on your goals, deadlines, and accomplishments.
Part of the reason you might procrastinate is because what you have to do seems overwhelming. It’s a lot easier to get started on a project when you establish simple, reachable goals rather than face a big, vague plan. Instead of telling yourself, “I’ll study chemistry tonight,” you might instead say, “I’ll study chapter six tonight.” This makes your goals less intimidating and more attainable.
Getting rid of distractions is another tip to avoid procrastination. By limiting the number of distractions around you, you’re more likely to get done what you need to do. Shut your phone off, retreat to a quiet place and listen to classical music or white noise to drown out any noise.
The most common reason as to why people procrastinate is due to surroundings that tempt them into abandoning their task at hand. Whether it be Netflix, someone’s company, social media, or reading, many people are often distracted by something or the other that ends up keeping their task at hand to the last minute.
Once you identify your distractions, minimize them. Turn your phone off, log out of Netflix, isolate yourself from other people while working. Make sure you are as far away from your distractions as possible!
Understand yourself and what works for you
A lot of people fail to realize that completing tasks is not a one-size-fits-all step, and that catering it around to your individual personality and preferences may help the best, rather than what generally works for most people.
For example, if most people work better at a library or a coffee shop, but you work better at home, then there’s no harm sticking to that. If you are a morning person that is more productive in the morning, then try to schedule your task hours in the morning rather than other times of the day.
Work out and understand what fits you as an individual the most in terms of productivity and complete your tasks accordingly, allowing less procrastination and more efficiency. There you have it. Different ways at making sure you’re the most effecient you can be, with no longer the cycle of procrastination!
Prioritizing your work and assignments is another way to help you avoid procrastination. Every week or so, make a list of what needs to be completed. Make sure you address the most critical or time-sensitive assignments first. Then work your way down the list. Get the hard stuff out of the way first, so that everything that comes after it will seem more manageable.
Another tip to avoid procrastination is to set deadlines. Many students get stuck in the “I’ll do it tomorrow or eventually” cycle when in truth that day or eventually never comes. It’s important to set a specific date for when you want a project or assignment to be completed. Aim to have your projects and assignments completed one or two days in advance. That way, if something unexpected happens, you still have extra time to complete them.
TAKE A BREAK
Another tip to avoid procrastination is to take a break from your school work every now and then. Take a 10-15 minute break. Listen to music, take a walk or scream into a pillow — anything that takes your mind off of your school work and allows you to relax. An Oregon State University study shows that taking a break can increase focus, reduce stress, and help you better retain information.
Rewarding yourself may create an incentive to complete a task and help avoid procrastination. After studying for a test or completing an assignment, consider giving yourself a reward. It could be as simple as, “Once I finish this assignment, I can watch an episode of my favorite show.”
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