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How To Stop Anti-Study Procrastination (part 1)

| May 6, 2015

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are squandering your time online, checking email, browsing social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. Follow our tips below and don’t let procrastination take over your life.

1) Break your work into little steps.

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.For example, if you’re currently writing a dissertation or essay, break it down into phases such as – (1) Research (2) Deciding the topic (3) Creating the outline (4) Drafting the content (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10, (6) Revision (7) etc, suddenly it seems very manageable.

2) Change your environment.

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace. One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around.

 

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3) Create a detailed timeline with specific deadlines.

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late. Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

 

4) Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you. We know some people will out of the way and delete/deactivate their facebook accounts. That can be a little drastic/extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

Join us next week as we look at another set of key tips for avoiding procrastination.

Category: Articles & Advice