Peer Adviser Post: Problem with Procrastination?
By Rachel Wangler CC '15
If you’re anything like me, it seems that the more things I have to accomplish the more I feel the need to procrastinate. Next thing I know it’s the night before the paper is due and I haven’t even started writing—but I also have a staff meeting, a club meeting, and a discussion post due. Going to bed at a reasonable house is now out of the question. At this point adrenaline and anxiety have completely set in and I’ve got a million regrets and not enough time. I keep telling myself I won’t let it happen again—but every other week it’s the same song and dance.
As finals approach it becomes so much easier to sit outside instead of doing work or to find things to do that aren’t time sensitive—like this article. As good as productive procrastination might feel, it’s just as detrimental to your mental health and productivity levels as television or Facebook. I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get through finals with your sanity and time to spare!
- Begin your day with a to-do list and a plan.
- Prioritize your to-do list and stick to it.
- Schedule activities for the time that you’re at your most efficient. For example, if you’re a morning person plan to work in the morning and run your errands in the afternoon when you won’t be as productive.
- Find an environment that increases your productivity—this may be in a coffee shop or a quiet library room—wherever it is, find what works for you, even if it isn’t best for your study buddy.
- Find a study buddy that works in a similar environment and can hold you accountable for getting your work done.
- Schedule time for breaks. You’re more efficient when you take a 10-minute break for every 50-60 minutes of work.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique in which you tell yourself you only have a short amount of time to work (5-10 minutes) and usually the momentum will propel you to keep working past that time limit.
- Track your progress—it will keep you on the tasks at hand and give you a sense of achievement.
- Stop waiting for perfection. Waiting for the perfect condition in which you can work won’t happen very often and you won’t get much done.
- Prevent interruptions—and subsequent distractions—download an app that keeps you off of sites you compulsively visit, turn your phone off, and turn off all notification sounds that will tempt you to look away from your work.
Remember, you’re only human and you need to take care of yourself—don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get everything done in the time frame you planned. Keep going and acknowledge where you can improve. Take the initiative and just get started—that’s often the hardest part. If you’re still struggling, Alice! has even more tips and resources to help you out.