I’ve struggled with procrastinating my entire life. The amount of times I have put off writing an essay until midnight the night before it is due (okay, sometimes maybe even 5 am the morning IT IS due) are too many to count. In high school it worked for me. High school was easy enough. Freshman year of college was a whole other story. Procrastination caused me so much stress and anxiety, but I still continued to put things off until the last minute. Why is it that even once we realize how HORRIBLE procrastinating makes us feel, we continue to do it EVERY SINGLE TIME? There is a great TED talk on procrastinating by Tim Urban that I highly recommend you watch, it’s hilarious and super relatable.
I knew I needed to get my procrastinating under control. It wasn’t easy, but once I stuck with my new methods long enough, I realized that not procrastinating was so much better. So, I am going to share with you guys my tips on how to stop procrastinating once and for all!
1. Get rid of all distractions
This may seem obvious, but it works like you wouldn’t believe. Put your phone on do not disturb and flip it over, turn it off, or keep it in a different room. Whatever you have to do to completely ignore it and resist the urge to use it. When you are using your computer to do homework, it is all too easy to open another tab to distract yourself. I use an app for Mac called Self-Control. You can list the websites you need blocked from and put in a certain amount of time. Once you click start, you won’t be able to access those sites until the timer runs out. Even restarting your computer won’t disable it. It’s a great app and I swear by it. If you don’t have a Mac there are two Windows alternatives I found: StayFocusd (which is a Google Chrome plugin)and Cold Turkey.
2. Plan out big assignments in smaller chunks
When I’m assigned a big project/essay, I break it down into digestible chunks. Then I plan to do each chunk of the assignment on a specific day. I put it in my planner and make sure to complete it. This keeps me on schedule to complete the project.
3. Make a to-do list
Every morning, I write my to-do list. You can also do this the night before if that works better for you. I make a separate list for just school related things that need to get done. I put the assignment I hate the most at the top of the list. Then I knock it out as early in the day as possible. Your will power is strongest when you first wake up, so completing the things you hate first thing in the morning is the best option. It also sets your day up to be a productive once!
4. Set a time and get it done
I put the time I expect the task to take next to it when I write my list. This allows me to plan my day according to what needs to be completed. Be realistic in your timing expectations. Reading 50 pages does not take 20 minutes for most people. Once I know what assignments I need to complete and how long I think they will take, I set a timer and get it done. Sometimes you just have to do it. Remove distractions and complete one task at a time.
I hope these tips were helpful in beating your procrastination habits! Do you guys have any tips to stop procrastinating?