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Procrastination king/queen? Try these study tips to stay on track

Posted on 05/02/2020 by

Spend more time scrolling social media than studying? Here are some tips to help you overcome procrastination.

We’ve all been there. 

You’ve got a huge assignment looming and plenty of study to do. But you find yourself scrolling through social media, staring at the fridge, on the phone to a friend. Doing anything other than actually studying!

Procrastination. It’s a common struggle – and one that can really hold you back from being your best.

So, how can you overcome procrastination? Especially if you’re a procrastination king or queen? 

Here are some study tips to help you stay on track.

1. Use a timer

Set a timer for 30 minutes and commit to focusing 100% on your studies during that time. No social media, no phone, no fridge-gazing!

You’ll be more likely to focus if you know you can take a break once the buzzer goes off. Often all you need to do to avoid procrastination is to get started. Using a timer helps you start on the right foot – and hopefully continue that way. 

Once you get one 30-minute success under your belt, you just need to rinse and repeat the process. Study distraction-free for 30 minutes, take a break, then repeat the cycle. Aim for as many 30-minute study sessions as you can, and before you know it, you’ll have put in plenty of hours.

2. Work towards rewards

Instead of rewarding yourself before you start studying (hello, eating lunch at 9 am), promise yourself a treat once you complete a block of study.

For example, if you start studying at 9 am, set yourself the reward of a delicious lunch at 12 pm. If you study well in the morning, you get to treat yourself to your favourite at-home lunch. If you procrastinate, it’s just plain toast for you!

Use this reward system throughout your week so you always have little joys to look forward to. Rewards can be as simple as watching an episode of your favourite TV program at night or enjoying your favourite chocolate bar for dessert.

3. Focus on one task at a time

Procrastination is most tempting when you feel overwhelmed or exhausted. To keep your brain feeling fresh and alert, try to focus on one task at a time.

Split your to-do list into clear, separate tasks and work on them in isolation. Methodically move your way through the list and you’ll be surprised at how much you get done.

4. Follow a study schedule

A clear study schedule is one of the greatest tools against procrastination. It’s easy to procrastinate if you think you have “all the time in the world” to study. But, if you know you only have a few precious days per week, you’ll be more likely to get stuck into your studies knowing you don’t have a second to waste.

Plan your study schedule at the beginning of each week, factoring in other commitments such as family life and work. Get super honest with yourself about exactly how much time you have to focus on your assignments, then use that time wisely.

5. Plan for procrastination time

Even if you’re super organised and motivated, you’ll still procrastinate every now and then. It’s totally normal.

Allow for a little bit of ‘procrastination time’ every day. If you don’t use it, that’s great – you’ll get ahead. And if you do use it, then that’s OK too, because you planned for some downtime.

As with most things relating to study, if you approach procrastination with a plan, you’ll be less likely to get caught off guard. You’ve got this!

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