15 Tips For Beating Procrastination
Procrastination is the bane of many a school kid’s existence — from grade school to graduate school. It can certainly lead one down a dark road of bad grades and other failures. But there are ways that you can deal with the act of procrastination. Check out what these reddit users had to say, and see if you can adapt any for your own use. Let’s get started.
1. “Something I did for a while: Whatever task it is you don’t want to do just do it for 10 minutes.
“Don’t want to write that paper? Just do 10 minutes. If, by the end of that 10 minutes you’re still not motivated, then move on. Chances are that by the end of those 10 minutes you’re kind of into what you started and will go longer than that.
“Also take breaks after 45 minutes of work and come back to it after a 15 minute breather. As a procrastinator it’s easier to burn out, that kind of helps.”
2. “Put a sticky note saying ‘I want to be better’ on my laptop since I normally procrastinated from school work. Then when I got sidetracked, or talked myself out of doing something, I remembered back to the note. It wasn’t advice from someone, it wasn’t a teacher or a parent, it was me telling myself to do it. Acknowledging that helped me a lot.”
3. “Well I’m assuming you get distracted by online [stuff]. Try a rewards system; every time you finish a problem or two, surf the web for a certain amount of time. I just surf Youtube whenever I finish a homework set, for instance. Or eat food as a reward … whatever.”
4. “Knowing it has to get done and I’m not going to enjoy it later either so get it over with now. … It helps when you value your own time: when I realized I was doing things that weren’t going to be helpful in the long run, just so I can avoid something I had to do anyway, it made me realize I wasn’t helping myself and actually made it worse because I’d have this nagging feeling I needed to do something AND now less time to do it. So I didn’t enjoy my momentary distraction anyway.”
5. “Break tasks into smaller, less stressful tasks that are quicker to complete and help make you feel more motivated because hey! Done already!
“For example, focus on only the first paragraph or two of the big essay or just cleaning up the laundry in your room, then coming back and doing another paragraph of the essay or picking up all the trash in your room.”
6. “Set rules and stick to them. What do you do when you SHOULD be doing something productive?
“Tell yourself you can not play whatever video game until you have done X task, or that you can only watch 1 episode of whatever for every 20 minutes of cleaning, studying or whatever thing you need to do.
“If you take away your distractions, you’ll just be bored until you do whatever you needed to do, and it gives a bit of a reward system for doing what you should do.”
7. “Pressure. Normally I only study with 2/3 days left to the exam. Then I listen [to] epic music, some EDM, and coffee! Normally results but not 100% infallible.”
8. “Make a list of things that need to get done, and then work through step by step on the list. Don’t make it a list of big things, make it a list of small doable things, and work through them and take short breaks between them. The key to not procrastinating is to get off reddit, and start doing what you need to be doing. Do assignments when you get them. Study before the test. etc. It’s hard at first, but it’ll become a habit eventually.”
9. “One thing I do at school when I really need to get something done is sit at a desk somewhere (e.g. library, faculty building) where people can see my laptop screen walking by.”
10. “I like to set timers, it prevents me from getting side-tracked. For example: I only get 15 minutes for a meal, I get three minutes of social media, etc.”
11. “I usually put off dealing with it until the next day. But in all seriousness, I try to make myself realize how important getting things done on time are. By trying to get into doing things in a timely fashion you get a few things in return. 1. You don’t have the constant worry of the assignment. 2. You have more time to do the assignment which results in a better outcome, and in turn makes you look better. 3. By doing the assignment early or by spacing out the assignment you can have more relax time where your concious is more at ease. Just something that help me though.”
12. “It comes down to discipline and routine. One thing that works is scheduling work + free time and actively sticking to it. You’re able to procrastinate because you have such large windows of time. Filling it up with breakable/timed tasks kind of mimics that ‘flow’ most people get before a deadline. Sticking to the routine definitely takes will power though.”
13. “I overcame procrastinating by becoming an anti-procrastinator. For one class in college, I decided to finish the semester’s projects as fast as possible, and the joy of getting to relax for months and listen to my peers whine about [stuff] I’d already done was amazing. I’ve never procrastinated on anything in life since. Try it.”
14. “I just remember all the times when I did procrastinate and the results sucked.
“In general though: Reflect, really reflect on how you want yourself to be. Spend time thinking about yourself, the way you act, think, and react to everything in your life. Get to really know yourself. Your brain is basically the matrix. The only rules to being the way you want are physics and the ones you make yourself, and only one of those is hard.
“For every time you think something is hard, remember that everything you’ve ever thought has happened inside just a handful of cubic inches of squishy organic material. So, while it’s contrived, the physical distance between failing to be the way you want, and being the way you want is really, really small. And that helps me remember how easy it can be to change my behavior.”
15. “I used to procrastinate a lot whenever I had to study for finals. I had to come up with a way that finally put me out of this misery. I told myself that I am gonna suffer anyway from either facing procrastination at the moment or in the long term when I fail the course, so it was better for me to push myself harder and study than the other option.
“Just think of it that way whenever you’re about to procrastinate and imagine you are at crossroads. You’re gonna suffer temporarily from fighting the urge to procrastinate on the first road, while you’re gonna suffer in the long-term on the other road.”
So what about you, readers? What have you done to curb procrastination in your own work/study/school life? Share your suggestions with us in the comments section.
[Image via Duff McDuffee]