The start of a new year or a new academic term is a great time to assess your study skills and productivity levels, and to find ways to improve them. Procrastination- putting things off or doing one thing instead of another that you know you should be doing- is a common struggle for most students. This year, work to develop a few techniques that will help you battle procrastination and manage your time wisely. Here are a few ideas:
Find motivation: Think of a few solid reasons for getting a task done early, and write those reasons down. When you’re tempted to think “I can do this later,” just remember your list and knock out your assignment.
Identify your most common excuses: What are your most common reasons for putting important tasks off? Once you’ve identified these reasons, plan ahead for them. If you know you’re frequently tempted by invitations from your friends, make sure they know you’ve got serious work to knock out, and learn to say no to their requests. If your cell phone or computer distract you, turn them off and leave them in another room.
Break down tasks: It is easy to procrastinate when you feel intimidated by a big assignment or you aren’t sure where to start. In these cases, it is best to set smaller, more manageable goals that you can accomplish in shorter time frames. For example, if you have a paper due, break it down into smaller parts for each writing session. Begin with your intro, then move into the body, conclusion, proofing and editing stages.
Stick with your plan: Review the goals that you made for yourself at the beginning of the school year and renew your commitment to using a weekly planner or calendar. This will help you stay organized and focused to complete your tasks.
*image found here, text adapted from here