If your campus librarian knows you for pulling all-nighters right before that big term paper is due, these ways to avoid procrastination will help you put down the Red Bulls. In college, it was all too easy to hang around with friends and avoid work until the very last minute. But as my fellow procrastinators know, hitting the club isn’t so fun when you’re biting your nails over the paper that’s due next week. So, here are 10 tips that’ll help you beat the procrastination bug for good. Are you ready for that ‘A’?
1. Take Care of Your Needs
One of the first –and most important– ways to avoid procrastination is to take care of your body and mind before you hit the books. Eat a healthy breakfast, carry a water bottle with you, and stock up on tissues. If you recently had a spat with a friend, I’d urge you to work things out before you start that assignment. These seemingly little things will help keep you focused, resulting in major productivity!
2. Give Yourself Breaks
I’m the first one to admit to being fidgety. I can’t sit still for more than an hour (or less!) at a time. And while many will throw themselves into their work, chances are, they’re not at their best after a few hours. So, instead of forcing myself to stare at my computer screen, I give myself short breaks to take in some fresh air and sunshine.
3. Start with What You’re Good at
One of my personal favorite ways to avoid procrastination is to begin by working on something I’m actually interested in and good at. You know how they tell you to save the best for last? Well, I happen to disagree. In my experience, I’ve gotten much more done by building up my confidence in the beginning of an assignment, then plowing through the more difficult parts later.
4. Get Organized
Another fundamental way to avoid procrastination is to invest in a planner. You’ll love crossing completed items off your list –and you’ll have no excuse for forgetting an assignment! I wouldn’t dream of returning to my pre-planner days because I’ve seen the great results firsthand. If you’re still on the fence, purchase a decked out little book that you can take anywhere. It’ll grow on you, I promise.
5. Remember Your Goals
Sometimes, avoiding procrastination is as easy as reminding yourself why you’re doing your work in the first place. Whether it’s because you want to score that dream job after college or are up for a promotion, remembering what you want to accomplish could get you to that finish line.
6. Stay Away from Social Networking Sites
A key way to avoid procrastination is to stop signing on to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social networking website you’re on. Even if you tell yourself you’re just going to scan your newsfeed, chances are, you’ll stalk your exes for two hours before realizing how much time you’ve wasted. Resist the urge!
7. Turn off Your Phone
On that note, you should also turn off your cell phone before starting your work. I’ve found that once I receive a text, it’s nearly impossible for me to not look at my phone. Why not enjoy a few hours of peace and quiet? Your brain cells will thank you!
8. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
An often overlooked way to avoid procrastination is to be reasonable with your expectations. Sometimes, my brain thinks I’m Wonder Woman when I’m really just your average chick. With that said, you should aim high, but not exceedingly high –because all that pressure will make you want to take a nap. And that’s definitely not a good thing in your situation!
9. Leave Your Dorm Room
Your roomies might be great, but they’re also part of the reason why you’ve been stuck on Chapter 1 for the past hour. Head to a coffee shop, the library, the campus lounge –anywhere that’ll give you a quiet space to work. The gals will understand once you’re back, sans the reading materials and look of panic across your face.
10. Make an Appointment
One final way to avoid procrastination is to schedule an appointment with your professor or boss to go over what you’ve been working on days before it’s actually due. Not only will they (most likely) appreciate the chance to offer advice, but you’ll feel obligated to show them your best work. This way, you’ll only have to worry about polishing up that paper or presentation the night before it’s due, and not rush to complete the entire assignment!
These are some of my top ways to avoid procrastination. Which tips will you use the next time something is due? What are some of your own tried and true ways to avoid procrastination?
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