It’s almost the middle of the semester, which means it’s peak procrastination time for those of us who have a propensity to neglect our obligations. As someone who is often guilty of procrastinating, I have compiled a list of five tips that help me focus and complete the tasks at hand. Here are five ways to fight procrastination, from a fellow procrastinator.
Before starting a task, set aside something to act as a reward upon the completion of that task. Maybe it’s a piece of chocolate, an episode of your favorite show, or time outside. Whatever it may be, use it to motivate you to finish that pressing obligation. Not only does it inspire you to finish what needs to get done, but you get a well-deserved reward.
Studies have shown that people can spend upwards of five hours on their phones daily. Phones are most definitely used as a means for procrastination – and it’s often mindless. Without thinking, we spend ten to fifteen minutes at a time scrolling through our social media feeds. When we finally detach, we realize that we haven’t gotten any work done. So set boundaries for yourself. Put your phone in another room or turn it on airplane mode to keep yourself from getting distracted. If you decide to use your phone, limit yourself to a few minutes every hour. Whatever your distraction may be, your phone or otherwise, be sure to set limits and focus on work.
Use a planner
For those of us who thrive on structure and organization, a planner is essential. I did not make a habit of using a planner prior to this year, but it has helped me immensely since I started. Planners typically include a monthly view of the days, and then leave space for more detailed day-to-day notes on a separate page. Personally, I write all due dates on the calendar page and make to-do lists with more detailed information on the following pages. This allows me to know my schedule, hold myself accountable, and meet upcoming deadlines in proper time.
Make realistic goals
You cannot do it all. Set goals for completion based on what you know is realistic for you. If you have a short attention span, do not try to complete six different tasks over the course of three consecutive hours. This means you need to evaluate your learning and work habits to effectively allocate time for everything that needs to get done.
Set aside time for leisure