With an ever-increasing load of studies and perpetually steepening competition, the to-do list of today’s students keeps increasing by the day. Overburdened with studies and co-curricular activities, students find themselves grappling with a never-ending list of tasks at hand under the limited allowance of twenty-four hours every day.
However, what seems to be a bigger problem is that most students tend to while away even the time they have at hand and are later seen struggling with work. In this write-up you’ll learn how to stop procrastination and start studying.
The word ‘procrastination’ has now become an extremely common term with many people using it to describe their working habits. With students becoming pros at procrastinating, unfinished assignments, late submissions, truckloads of pending work, and last-minute stress have become inevitable parts of most students’ lives.
Have you ever found yourself struggling under the pressure of a huge syllabus, unable to study even though you do have time at hand? If yes, then you probably are a procrastinator and definitely need to get rid of the problem.
Also Read: Why Time Management is Important for Students?
How often do you sit to study with a firm dedication of finishing your work on time, but soon find yourself lost in videos of puppies and kittens or laughing at memes on social media sites? Does your phone chiming with message notifications succeed in taking your attention away from the work at hand, only for you to realize an hour later, that too much of your valuable time has been lost?
Does your excitement for watching some episodes of your favourite sitcom manage to convince you to put off study time for an hour that spans a whole evening?
If you could tick the ‘yes’ box for these situations, you are a procrastinator and most likely do not finish your assignments on time.
Your to-do list probably still has tasks from the last week written on it, and your table is likely to be full of unfinished assignments, unread chapters, and unsolved questions that were due to be finished days back.
If you are a student, procrastination, if not dealt with at the right time, can make your academic goals unreachable for you. Even in other sectors of life, procrastination can ruin your chances, and therefore, this habit needs to be gotten rid of before it can cause serious damage.
If you are troubled by the anxiety that last-minute works cause you and are looking for ways to get rid of the habit of procrastination, you are at the right place. In this article, we have enlisted some very efficient ways of solving this seemingly unsolvable problem. So read on and find out how to stop procrastinating and start studying.
What is Procrastination?
A quick google search would bring you a million websites that would say, ‘Just stop procrastinating’, as a solution to your problem. Well, before we give you any such pointless advice, let us first discuss what procrastination really is. You need to understand what the cause of your problem is before you set out to solve it.
- The word procrastination comes from a Latin word that means ‘belonging to the tomorrow’. It is a habit in which you put off your work, assignments, and study sessions, and are heard saying things like “I’ll just do this later” Or “I know I should be writing that assignment now but I just don’t feel like doing it”.
- It makes you deal inefficiently with the time you have at hand and causes you to put off work till the very last moment. Procrastination becomes more of a habit and you tell yourself lies to avoid doing unpleasant, boring, difficult, or frustrating work.
- Recent studies suggest that procrastination has little to do with time management and is more of an emotional process. It is actually the result of your brain seeking instant gratification by driving you towards rewarding activities that generate positive feelings instead of ones that generate negative emotions.
This is the reason why videos of cute baby animals, rewarding video games, fun chats with your friends, and funny episodes from your favourite sitcom present themselves with their irresistible appeal just when you sit with that boring chapter or that frustrating assignment you must finish.
Procrastination puts you through a continuous cycle of lack of the willingness to work, guilt arising from not doing the work, and anxiety which makes you unable to work. This cycle has you in its grip, making it really difficult to get out of this continuous struggle.
Also Read: Why Do Indian Parents Force Engineering?
How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Studying as a Student?
Now you know what it is to be procrastinating. You must be feeling pretty bummed on noticing how often you procrastinate in real life. Maybe you have known it forever but could not help yourself to get over it.
Or, maybe you are a serial procrastinator and now you want to leave this bad habit behind and get a grip on your life. Fear not, for we are going to provide you with solutions to the problem of procrastination in everyday life.
Fear, depression, and anxiety is the last thing that you want while trying to get over procrastination. It is a very common habit that is present in pretty much everyone’s life. So stop beating yourself up and get to studying. Here are a few tricks that you can try to stop procrastinating.
Also Read: How to Make Money While Studying Full Time?
#1 Set Deadlines:
We all set deadlines or maybe we just keep them in mind. But does it help? Studies show that students and workers who study or work on online platforms usually lag behind the deadline.
- Having a clear and detailed deadline helps people grasp the situation better. Moreover, external deadlines are best to keep yourself on track than internal deadlines that hardly get noticed by you.
- This becomes a very serious difficulty for those who work and study through websites that keep track of your accomplishments but don’t give you deadlines. To be exact, if there is nothing at stake then there is no drive for you to meet the deadlines.
- Flexible work hours and study plans become the worst enemy when you seek motivation. That’s why you need your own deadlines on your dashboard. Set simple, short, but detailed deadlines even for little works like working out.
#2 Break Your Tasks Down Into Smaller and Simpler Ones:
In most of the cases, procrastinators try to escape from their work because it seems gigantic and pretty time-consuming to them. Big assignments and work projects can seem a little too much of a hassle to those who don’t get pleasure from their work. But it can be helped scientifically.
- When gigantic assignments are broken down into smaller and easier little tasks, a sense of accomplishment is achieved by completing smaller tasks. That feeling of accomplishment or even some little rewards can help you go through the huge assignments. But the type of reward also matters.
- If you start to reward yourself for every little accomplishment with materialistic pleasures then very soon you will just succumb to those pleasures and forget about your work.
- Just like that, if you think after completing a little part of your project you are going to start watching an online or a TV show, that may turn out to be a bad idea. TV shows and other reality shows are made to get us hooked up in them. So it is better to just have a cookie or a bar of chocolate or talk to a friend for a few minutes after completing the little steps of your huge assignments.
So the mantra is – Break your future assignments into small tasks and after completing each of them treats yourself with a little reward. Always try to feel self-motivated rather than depending on materialistic pleasures.
#3 Remove Distractions:
Distractions are your worst enemy when you are trying really hard to not procrastinate. If you are a procrastinator that means you already are searching for reasons to not do the work. So even if a tiny distracting thought pops up in your head you are surely going to spend a considerable amount of time on that.
So when your brain is saying that studying is difficult or that doing the job at hand is very tough, almost near to impossible, the first thing you should do is get rid of all distractions on your computer and on your workspace.
Tell the people living with you to call you only when you are absolutely needed. If you don’t need your phone or your laptop for your work keep them away?
You can use focus software to temporarily make your mobile or laptop only about your work. If you don’t need the internet for your job or assignment, disable the network. If you are in uncomfortable clothes, change them before sitting on your desk. These are just some examples. There might be a lot of distractions around you like these that you want to avoid. Single those out and work towards getting rid of them.
#4 Set Up A Fun And Efficient Work Space:
Just before you start working on your assignment or project make sure you have everything on your desk so that you don’t have to get up and go somewhere else to get anything. Tidy up your work environment.
A neat and clean work environment will help you focus on your project. Keep essential pieces of equipment organized. You can even keep fans near you for hot days and blankets for winter.
Keep the snacks that you need time after time stacked in drawers. But remember to only access the snacks when you need to reward yourself. Avoid placing personal things in your workspace.
#5 Be Organised About Your Breaks:
When you are studying or working you will need various types of breaks to keep you going. That is why you need to organize your breaks. Appoint short breaks for the bathroom.
Take breaks for eating snacks as a reward for your job. And remember to make the breaks sufficient but short. Short breaks will not let you get distracted. But after working or studying for a longer duration treat yourself with 30 to 40 minutes of worry-free breaks.
#6 Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past, as well as for lapses, if any:
A very important step to ensure that you can keep yourself from procrastinating any further is to forgive yourself for having procrastinated in the past. You would also have to forgive yourself in case you lapse into this habit again, and somehow end up procrastinating.
This is important because the guilt that arises from procrastinating gives rise to anxiety and self-criticism that keep you from being able to focus on work. This would further reduce your productivity and increase your problem.
#7 Set Small Goals and Celebrate Small Wins:
Another important thing to keep in mind in this regard is that you need to set smaller initial goals for yourself and steadily work towards the greater ones. If you aim to finish all the unpleasant work in one go, or if you plan to become an efficient and regular worker overnight, you would end up ruining the entire plan. The target should be to take baby steps towards steady progress.
#8 Reward Yourself:
Be sure to provide yourself with small but meaningful rewards after every small success you achieve. Maybe a small break, or a bite or two of your favourite snack, or a chocolate or two would provide your brain with the positive reinforcement it needs to continue studying. These small rewards would ensure that your brain gets the instant gratification it is on the lookout for.
#9 Make Learning Fun:
Try to make learning an interesting process for your brain, instead of a drudge. If the process of learning is rewarding and engaging, instead of being a frustrating and boring experience for you, you are sure to be procrastinating a lot less. Use mnemonics to memorize things, make use of interesting correlations to understand the logic, and reward yourself often. You should be good to go.
Now you know all the tips and tricks there are to stop procrastinating. The only thing that can stop you now is your attitude towards the problem. Do not feel anxious or depressed. Procrastinating is not a huge problem that cannot be dealt with by you. Just keep a positive attitude and trust yourself. Try to follow the above-mentioned tips and you are ready to accomplish anything that comes your way.