It can be hard to beat procrastination because it’s often easy to reason that something else you could be doing is just as important. It’s especially likely that you’ll fall into this trap when you have an assignment that’s difficult or boring (perhaps both). If you end up leaving it until the night before the due date, though, you’ll be frantically trying to finish in time. As a result, your work will be lower quality than it could have been, you’ll feel exhausted, and your brain will be in a fog for the rest of the day. No one wants to feel like that. The solution is to stop procrastinating — here’s how.
1. Set Smaller Targets
Your ultimate goal is to finish your assignment; however, this can feel overwhelming. For this reason, it’s better to give yourself smaller targets to work toward. These could include finishing the required reading, writing just one section of your assignment, or even getting your notes in order.
2. Organize Your Schedule
Stop figuring things out as you go along and create a detailed schedule to follow. Make a note of all the due dates for your assignments and work backward to figure out when you’ll need to achieve each of the targets you set above. Aim to finish the assignment some time before the deadline. This will give you a buffer in case any activities take longer than you expect or sudden obligations pop up.
3. Start with the Most Difficult Tasks
When dividing your assignment into parts, plan to do the hardest things first. Once you’ve done these, you’ll have a huge weight off your mind and the rest of your assignment will be much easier to complete. You can also apply this tactic to studying for different classes over the course of a day: begin with the class you find the most difficult and leave the least challenging until last. Difficult classes will seem harder still if you study for them at the end of the day when you’re tired.
4. Figure Out How Long You Can Stay Focused
Your targets may be unreasonable if you’re expecting to study for hours at a time. Most people are only able to stay focused for between 50 and 90 minutes. To figure out what you’re able to do, time yourself. You may find that you need to start off at the lower end and that you’re able to work up to the full 90 minutes with practice.
5. Remove Distractions
It’s impossible to stay focused for long if you’re faced with distractions. You may find it too tempting to look at your phone whenever you receive a notification, or maybe your roommate constantly wants to talk to you. Whatever the case, there are ways to cope with distractions, whether this means turning off your phone or studying somewhere you can be alone.
6. Take Breaks in Between
Make the most of the time available to you by taking short breaks of 10 to 30 minutes. You can use your breaks to do other things on your to-do list, which will eliminate any excuses for procrastination. Alternatively, just relax to give your mind a rest. Consider spending a few minutes scrolling through social media (but time yourself to stay on track), do a short workout, or take a brief walk outside.
7. Reward Yourself
Every time you reach one of your targets, reward yourself. Choose something simple yet incentivizing for your small targets and save something bigger for when you complete the entire assignment. You may even like to base the reward on the grade you receive.
You’ll find it easier to stop procrastinating if you have a comfortable place to study. Dorm rooms are some of the worst places to work on assignments, which is why it’s far better to live in student rentals. Barrie students have Foundry Georgian, which gives you a private room in a five-bedroom apartment. You’ll be able to work on your assignments at your desk, in your living room, or in one of our study rooms — all of which have high-speed internet access. Secure your place now while places are still available. Don’t procrastinate!