What is Procrastination?
For those who don’t know what procrastination is, it’s when you get distracted by activities which are not of significant importance when you know there is something important you should be getting on with.
For example, I have an essay on Social Anxiety due in a few weeks, I was doing some reading on it today and before I knew it I was on Facebook & Twitter all day chatting with friends and got very little work done.
As a student, I’m one of the worst kinds of people when it comes to doing this, it is estimated in the UK that 95% of all students procrastinate on a regular basis, so I’m certainly not alone!
Whatever you do for a living, the fact is that we all procrastinate from time to time and it is perfectly natural and OK to do so…up to a certain point. However some people have a real problem with wasting too much time and not getting work done in time for deadlines.
I aim to help you decrease the amount of time you spend procrastinating and help establish a better work ethic within your life with a few techniques.
Make a List
It is likely -especially if you’re a student- that you have different pieces of work to be submitted/finished at different deadlines. Thus making a list can make it clearer as to what needs to be done for when and how long you have to finish each task.Write all your different tasks in a list with their due dates next to them, like this:
Assignment/Task One – 14/03/13
Assignment/Task Two – 25/03/13
Assignment/Task Three – 02/04/13
Assignment/Task Four – 21/04/13
Now think about how long each task will take you and how long you have to get it finished. Now that you have prioritised your tasks, stick the list on your wall or mirror to remind you what you have due everyday.
Bad procrastinator or not, this is good practice and will keep you aware of all your work/academic responsibilities.
Ridding of Distractions
Another way of reducing time spent procrastinating is to get rid of the sources.
Turn the TV off at the wall.
Turn games consoles off at the wall.
Unplug the internet if you’re constantly checking Social Networking sites.
Don’t get food or drink unless you are genuinely hungry or thirsty.
Any other activities you know you shouldn’t be doing, put them away.
This will make you want to finish your work as you know you can go straight back to you’re hobbies and such after completing your tasks. Take breaks every 45 minutes to 1 hour.
This is self-discipline, an invaluable skill to perfect through life.
Split-Up Big Tasks
A 10,000 word report may seem like a dauntingly long and boring activity, however by breaking this up into smaller chunks, it becomes not nearly as threatening.
Just like prioritising in our to do list, we want to split the task into sections and dedicate time into each section.
So for this 10,000 word report we could do something like this if you had a week to complete it:
Monday & Tuesday – Research for the report.
Wednesday – Introduction to report .
Thursday – One half of main body.
Friday – Second half of main body.
Saturday – Conclusions & References.
Sunday – Edit final draft ready for submission for Monday.
Might seem like a lot of work by reading the above list, but split over days it is much, much more manageable and easier to follow as it is planned.
Keep this list somewhere where you will see it just like the to do list so you know what is ahead of you.
Keep Your Motivation Going!
Just watch this video below, if this doesn’t motivate you I don’t what will.
I’m kidding really, but motivational videos really help me once in a while, if you don’t like this one then there are plenty more to search for on Youtube and Google Videos.
Let This Man Motivate You!!
Well done for taking a step in the right direction to make a more productive you, just by reading my article you are doing something to better yourself. Keep at it!