One of my favorite phrases to say when I’m doing something is that I’m “productively procrastinating”. I talk all the time about how instead of diving into my math homework I will start working on blog stuff, clean my apartment, finally make that doctors appointment, and then work on writing out a to-do list of what I should be doing. All of that to avoid what I actually should be doing. I can’t tell you the number times I would try to sit down and study at 3pm and end up doing other things until 8pm, without even touching my study materials yet. In today’s post, I’m hoping to help you conquer procrastination.
Break things into pieces
If I need to write book notes from my marketing textbook, I know it’s going to take hours if I want to do it all at once. I always hope to get notes done by the end of the week that the chapter was taught, so I start on Saturday and finish by Thursday or Friday. Knowing I only have to take notes on 5 pages at once instead of 30 (which is super time consuming when you hand write notes) definitely motivates me to sit down and get things done. Personally, if I clump all of my book notes on one day I end up not doing them and don’t have book notes.
The biggest reason behind why I personally procrastinate is that I fear how much time it will take to complete something. As silly as it sounds, I look at a simple paper and think, “oh no, that’s going to take like 5 hours to complete! That’s so long.” Sounds a bit exaggerated, yes? But is it a true struggle? Absolutely. Which is why I’ve started utilizing timers so that I sit down and get started on things and usually realize things aren’t as time consuming as I’d thought they would be. Spending just 15 minutes on something is huge.
Have a consistent time that you make a to-do list
Writing a to-do list is always something that gets me in the mood to get working. For me, it’s best to write out my to-do list after I’ve gotten ready for my day. For me personally, it symbolizes that it’s time to start my day and get stuff done. I have friends who prefer to write their list at night before they go to bed so that as soon as they are ready for their day they can get straight to work.
Reward yourself after completing things
Knowing that I can sit down and binge watch Gilmore Girl’s after completing my work for the day definitely gives me a bit of a kick in the butt to get things done. I also enjoy treating myself to face masks, Lush bath bombs, and even trips to Target. Sounds ridiculous, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And knowing that our Target closes fairly early means getting things done is time sensitive. Let’s just say my Wednesday’s were super productive last semester since I typically rewarded myself with Target then.
Know your limits
Some people can do their math homework, read their chapters for physics, take notes for their history class, review material for their history class, review material for their physics test, and so on. If that is something that you personally can do outside of finals season, I applaud you. If I were to ever try to do that I would be overwhelmed and over it. I have to know what I’m capable of doing in a day. Typically I work on one task for each class each day, sometimes even including some extra studying or even breaking homework down so I can spend one to two days working on it. I have to know what I can do without getting overwhelmed and risking getting burnt out to early on.
Turn your phone to silent/airplane mode
I’m a blogger and a college student, so saying that my phone blows up on a regular basis is an understatement. I consistently get notifications about grades being posted, new e-mails, texts from friends, Group Me’s for my organizations, social media notifications, and more. Turning my phone to air plane mode when I sit down to get work done for school and the blog is one of the best things I have done for myself. Trust me, you need to try it.
Know your goals
When I really start getting into a rut of consistently procrastinating, I always take the time to look at the goals I’ve set for myself. I am a very goal oriented person and the reminder of what I’ve set out to do for the semester and for the next 3 years of my life definitely give me the motivation to start getting to work. Not that three hour Netflix “breaks” shouldn’t happen every now and then, but when they are happening every day it’s probably time to review your goals. I’m speaking from experience here. I will literally do anything to avoid working on a class that is math based. It’s bad. Although progress has been made slowly but surely on this.
Do you struggle with procrastination? How are you working to overcome it? If you aren’t a big procrastinator, what tips do you have for people who do? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!