Procrastination is a bad habit, we all know that. Yet, for some reason, many of us continue to procrastinate, causing ourselves unnecessary trouble and stress. Sadly, teachers and professors teach students many things but overcoming procrastination habits is difficult for many individuals to learn.
Procrastination is too often a real issue for higher education students. If you want to keep up with your college assignments, you need to learn how to overcome it.
Here are 10 tips that can help you organize your college and personal life routines, become more productive, and more effective.
1. Start your morning right.
Find something that makes it easier for you to start your morning, be it a nice alarm ringtone or a delicious breakfast. When you wake up on time and in a good mood, it becomes much easier for you to function effectively during the day. Moreover, you won’t have to get ready in a rush and won’t forget anything important.
2. Learn your productivity peaks.
We are all different. While some find it easier to study in the morning, some study more effectively in the evening or during the day. If you learn your productivity peak time, you’ll be able to schedule the most complex assignments during this time. Therefore, doing the hardest work when you’re the most effective.
3. Do the most challenging tasks first.
Students often tend to postpone the most challenging and unpleasant tasks until the last minute. However, if you do them first, you’ll actually feel better as the most difficult part of your assignments is done. Try doing so and see for yourself.
4. Get a planner.
We know it’s important to schedule and some find it easier to do this online. However, often internet access is unreliable or even unavailable. Paper planners allow you not only to schedule things immediately but keep all the important information in one place.
Try getting yourself a paper planner and writing down everything that’s important for you, from writing tasks you don’t want to forget about to habits you want to track. If you want to, you can even check out bullet journaling and its tools.
5. Take notes.
Note taking saves an incredible amount of time. When you take notes in class, you can easily return to the information later.
The notes you take in class, including quotes and insights from professors, can be easily translated to study guides for later exams.
6. Find a work-rest system that works for you.
Many people find it easier to focus on a task when they know they’ll need to work on it only during a short time period before taking a break. That’s why the Pomodoro technique was invented. It’s a simple timer that helps you work for 25 minutes straight and then take a 5-minute break.
However, while this technique is commonly used, it definitely won’t be effective for everyone. Some find it easier to work for shorter periods of time and take shorter breaks. Some need to work for more than 25 minutes. Try different intervals to find out what works best for you but don’t make them too long.
7. Organize your workspace.
One of the most common ways to procrastinate is to start cleaning your workspace or study environment instead of working on the tasks. Yes, you do need to keep your workspace organized but it’s much better to clean it before you get to work.
A well-cleaned and organized workspace helps people get focused and work more effectively. It also ensures that you won’t get distracted by anything, whether it’s looking for a pen or spotting an unfinished book that lays on the table and deciding to finish reading it right now.
Try to keep both your workspace and its surroundings clean. It takes only 10-15 minutes a day to maintain them this way but it saves you a huge amount of time.
8. Know your chores (and schedule them).
If you often feel short on time even when it doesn’t seem that you’re procrastinating, you need to understand where your time goes. Often, it’s the small things we don’t notice that consume our time and make us always late (or short on time at the very least).
Maybe you spend too much time getting ready. Or maybe it’s cleaning that is so time-consuming. In any case, when you find out what is it, you will be able to schedule a routine, therefore better understanding what you do during the day and how much time you have for what.
9. Plan your rest.
It never hurts to emphasize this once again. You should not only plan your rest but do this in advance as well: decide that you will work for a certain period of time and then you will rest.
Why is this so important? Because in most cases if a student has all evening to work, they’ll work all evening. However, if they know they need to finish the work until 7PM strict, they won’t have much time to get distracted and will have no other choice but to be focused and productive.
10. Find out what causes the procrastination.
While these tips will help you become more productive and fight procrastination more effectively, they won’t eliminate its cause. In most cases people procrastinate for some reason: the task seems unpleasant, they don’t like the subject or the course itself, they feel pressured by their parents, they believe they’re bad in this task, and so on.
So do your best to not only apply these tips in your life but to find out why do you procrastinate in the first place. Most likely, it’ll be easier for you to overcome procrastination once you’ll learn its main cause.
About the Author:
Richard Nolan is a professional educator and team building coach, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Follow him on Facebook.