We all procrastinate. It is almost habitual as students and it seems like the more procrastinating we commit to, the harder it is to stop the bad habit.
Often we trick ourselves that the pressure that comes with procrastination enables us to get the work done better than we would have if we gave ourselves more time. But ultimately, it’s a major cause for guilty, unnecessary stress.
I used to be the queen of procrastination, I could complete work the day it was due regardless of its complexity. For one of my finals about a year ago I finished a 15-page paper in less than 24 hours, oh was I impressed. But the overall headache and stress of it is not good for one’s health.
Here are some tips and trick, which helped me to break this naughty procrastinating habit:
1. Have a ‘To Do list’. Create a list with the subject, date, and time that the assignment is due.
2. Start now. Don’t wait several days after receiving the assignment to start on the work get it done right away!
3. Bring deadlines forward. Give yourself time to do the assignment. If a paper is due on a Friday, tell yourself it has to be done by Wednesday. This gives you time to check for any mistakes.
4. Allocate enough time. Give yourself solid time to sit down and get it done. Block out a day – or even a few hours – in your calendar for the work and then stick to it. That way you can still manage a social life around it.
5. Take short breaks. If you find you’ve hit a mental brick wall then stop and take a breather. Go for a walk to clear your head or take a coffee break.
6. Reward yourself. If you’ve achieved the first allocated session for your assignment keep yourself motivated by having a chocolate treat or catching up with friends. That way you’re celebrating the milestones and managing a good work-life balance.
7. Work in a productive environment. If you are doing homework in the living room with your roommate, listening to music and playing video games you are more than likely going to get distracted. Instead take yourself to the library or a quiet café so you can concentrate better.
8. Start your day with a sense of urgency. If you wake up in the morning with the idea that there are tasks that you have to complete that day, you are more likely to get them done.
Better time management can change the way you spend your valuable days. You’ll have more time to do the other fun things because you’re not waiting last minute to get the work done. Plus it will stop that sense of guilt creeping in when you’ve blown that assignment to go the movies with friends. Do the work first and then reward yourself.
Do you think you work better under pressure? How do you manage procrastination? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.