College is a new chapter in your life. It requires that you stay on top of things and not fall behind. In times of procrastination, how do you keep sane? As a master procrastinator , I have learnt the following:
1- Make a List
Making lists is very important while you deal with procrastination. When you’re about to run away from studying, grab a paper. Make a list. Estimate a time for each. Look at doable and specific goals. A good example is : “I will read the first part of chapter 1 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm”. A not-so-good example is “I will finish the chapter 1 today”. The latter lacks specificity.
2- Organize your schedule
Buying a new calendar or using Google Calendar online makes you efficient. Even if organizing time takes much of your time, you will thank yourself. When you organize your time, put in realistic time goals. A good example is to have “2 hours to read page 210 to 220” and not squeeze an entire chapter in the two hours. When you set a goal and don’t meet it, it will make you more anxious. More anxiety, more procrastination.
3- Join study groups
Studying with other peers can lower your stress. When there are people around, there is a chance to engage in questions and discussions. This gives you the opportunity to interact with the material and be proactive about getting work done. It is true that when your peers are motivated, their motivation will spread.
4- Dissect your tasks
When a task is huge, tear it down. Break it down. Dissect it. For instance, say that you have to “finish chapter 1,2,3 for Monday”. This task is too general and thus can overwhelm you to think about it. Have more tangible plans, you will feel less overwhelmed by the hugeness of the work. Instead, write down ” read book chapter 1, do practice test 1 and 2, read the chapter 2 slides” etc.
5-Take active breaks
Being productive and less procrastinating is not about being productive 24/7. The root of procrastination is avoiding work because we feel too anxious to face it. Thus, it is good to take an active break when needed. Not a break that numbs your brain, like binge watching a TV show. Try to watch a short clip, take a walk, shower, listen to music etc. Those breaks reboot your brain and get you back to work with a fresh eye.
At the end of the day, make sure you put yourself realistic goals. When you achieve them and cross them off the list, you will feel productive. More productive, less procrastinating!