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How to beat procrastination in three simple steps

Posted on 08/07/2015 by
Feel like you're constantly  telling yourself you need to get more done? Read on to find out how you can beat procrastination in three simple steps.

Feel like you’re constantly telling yourself you need to get more done? Read on to find out how you can beat procrastination in three simple steps.

It’s happened again. The clock has mysteriously jumped forward three hours and you’ve done  ‘nothing’. You sat down to study and before you knew it you’d wasted precious hours on Buzzfeed, YouTube and even just gazing out of the window.

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Procrastination. We all struggle with it from time to time, especially when it comes to studying. Do you regularly wonder where all the time goes? Do you find yourself racing to finish assignments mere hours before the deadline? Would you like to take back control over your study schedule and reduce stress?

If the answer is yes, then it’s time to put a plan into action to beat procrastination once and for all. Here’s how you can do this in three simple steps.

1. Find your WHY

The very first thing you should do, before you even pick up pen or turn on your computer, is remind yourself of WHY you decided to study. Often we get so bogged down in our daily to-do lists that we forget why we are doing everything in the first place.

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Remember that feeling of elation, excitement and pride when you enrolled on your first course? You are doing this for you; for a better career, for a better life. Make a list of all the reasons why you are studying and hang them somewhere you’ll see them every day. Whenever you feel like giving up, read this list again and it will help you stay focused.

2. Write a realistic study plan

Now that you’ve rediscovered your study mojo, it’s time to get realistic. Have you ever tried to tick off a million and one tasks in just a few hours? This is a sure path to feeling stressed and inadequate.

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Be realistic about how many tasks you can achieve in a day. Be absolutely honest with yourself and don’t try to jam in more than your brain can handle. This is why it’s so important to plan your study schedule well in advance, so you can ensure you have enough time to take it as slowly as you need.

Everyone is different, but research shows most people can only stay focused for around 90 to 120 minutes before they need a small break. Studies have also found that people tend to be highly productive for a maximum of about six hours per day – after that, attention begins to wane.

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Our advice? Aim for quality over quantity. Four hours of focused study, with tea and meal breaks, is a much better option than 10 hours of procrastination!

3. Make time for life

If studying makes you feel like ‘you have no life’, then you’re doing something wrong. Yes, study is a huge commitment and takes a lot of time and effort, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your social life on hold.

Schedule in time to do the things you love. Socialising, exercising and getting plenty of sleep are especially important for your wellbeing, and will help you stay focused when you need to study.

Just make sure you stick to your schedule – problems arise when you spontaneously stop studying because you’d rather hang out with your friends or watch TV. That’s procrastination.

If you stick to your study timetable, then you’ll be able to stick to your social timetable too – it’s a win-win situation. Think of your ‘fun time’ as your reward for studying hard.

Strike this balance and you’ll definitely be winning at life! Not to mention you’ll be one step closer to achieving the qualification of your dreams. Good luck!

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