As students, procrastination is kind of our thing. We delay doing assignments by binge-watching TV. We put off writing up our lectures by ‘treating’ ourselves to a lay-in. We ignore an impending big shop by scrounging together whatever is left in the kitchen. Need I give any more examples?
Soon we are going to be entering the real world, the adult world, and these immature ways of procrastinating need to come to an end. So, here are a few tips that can help you overcome procrastination.
1.Don’t set difficult tasks – If the task(s) you need to do are too hard or seem impossible then you are never going to get round to doing them, or you are going to cause yourself more stress than it is worth. Start off your day with small tasks, you want to begin your day with a feeling of achievement as it will set the tone for the rest of your day. If you do have any big tasks, try and break them down into stages, that way you won’t feel like you’re carrying a heavy weight on your shoulders.
2.Complete something as soon as it arises – Some days, you will come across a problem or a task that will need completing right away. The longer you leave it, the more tasks are going to build up and you will make things worse for yourself. Let’s use an example from earlier, the moment you realise that you have no food in the kitchen, grab your bags and go to the shop. If you leave the food shopping until two days’ time, just think of how many other tasks could build up.
3.Set deadlines – By doing this, you will be forcing yourself to complete the task and you will find yourself more motivated to complete it. A deadline means you can take control of the situation, slow down and come to terms with what it is you need to do. Make sure that you keep these deadlines realistic, if you need a week to complete an assignment then set yourself a week. While you want to make sure you get things done, you do not need to burn yourself out.
4.Create a reward system – When you finish something, even if it is minimal, treat yourself with a break or some other reward. By doing so, you will feel much more confident and happy about what you are doing and the whole ‘overcoming procrastination’ routine you have going on.
5.Ask for help – It is important to remember that you are not alone throughout every journey or task that you undertake. For example, if you are struggling to write an essay because you have writer’s block or you do not know what else you can add to it, ask a classmate to help you. Similarly, get into contact with your lecturer or someone you know that is familiar with the field you are writing about. Some see asking for help as a sign of vulnerability or incapability, however, what it actually shows is that you are strong enough to know your own strength and weaknesses; that you want to work on them.
6.Repeat this cycle – Start off by creating a monthly schedule of everything you need to do within that month and then you should follow these steps. Give yourself some days off, just because you want to overcome procrastination does not mean that you should be working constantly.
So, there is a short and simple way that you can beat procrastination and get on with the things you need to.