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Sunday, September 21, 2014

5 Top Tips to Avoid Procrastination

5 Top Tips to Avoid Procrastination

Guest post written by James Timpson (Share your stories with 26,000+ students like YOU!)

Procrastination is the bane of revision and when you’re preparing for exams there’s nothing more boring than trolling through your notes and trying to fill in the blanks. It’s hardly surprising that most people leave it until the last minute. If this sounds familiar, then these five tips may help.

1. Start in the morning

Revision expert Justin Craig states that most people find the morning to be the most productive time of the day. There’s nothing like waking up, cracking on and getting all of your work done before the afternoon. Not only does this make the days feel longer, but it gives you more free time to relax and recuperate – which is half the battle.

The second you’ve had breakfast, set yourself a goal and see it through till the end. The longer you leave it the more creative your excuses will become, and before you know it you’ve wasted the whole day. Having a “Do it now” attitude will prevent delays. While it may be difficult to begin with, after a few days your mind and body will start to adapt.

Top Tips to Avoid Procrastination
Top Tips to Avoid Procrastination / PicCredit

2. Reduce your workload

This may seem counter productive, but it’s far better to get a little bit done than nothing. For example, it can be pretty daunting to look at your schedule and realise that you need to write a 2,000 word essay. However, if you split that up across five days, it’s now a mere 400 words – not quite so bad is it?

Don’t worry about completing entire projects in one sitting. Spreading it across multiple days will not only make it much easier to manage, but will improve the overall quality of your work.

3. Don’t prioritise small tasks

Of course you’ll need to get the smaller tasks out the way as well, but don’t do them to compensate for bigger tasks. Answering emails and reading research notes, etc., needs to be done, but is it really a priority?

Don’t kid yourself; prioritise by order of importance. Whatever you do make sure you tackle at least a small portion of a bigger task, otherwise you’ll just end up overburdened when all the smaller tasks are out of the way.

4. Get some company

According to The Happiness Project, studies have shown that we enjoy activities more when we have a partner. If you think you’d work better with someone by your side, choose your study partner wisely. If you’re not careful they could be an even bigger distraction.

Find a study partner who makes an effort to do well themselves. Their good habits will inspire you to try harder. If you don’t have any close friends doing the same course as you, ask your tutor to arrange an after-hours study group.

5. Create a schedule

Create both long and short-term schedules and stick to them. Having a detailed plan in front of you will inspire you to stay ahead of the game. Creating a schedule will also help you pinpoint problem areas so you can make extra time for them.

At the beginning of each week make a detailed plan outlining what you expect to achieve by the end. Then, at the beginning of each day – before you start working – write down a list of everything you want to achieve by the end of that day. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a list!

When it comes to revision everybody is different and what could work for others may not work for you. Try to find a routine that you find beneficial, even if it doesn’t stick to conventions. Sometimes it’s the oddest and most ‘out there’ ideas that work.
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  1. thank you for the tips

    can you give the website of the scholarships such as Petronas scholarship for undergraduate students?

    Thank you very much

  2. Thank you for the tips :) I believe those tips might help me out to overcome my problem as im a last minute person and like to procrastinate my work. End up,i will regret but only at that time. After that i will continue delaying my other works. Thanks again for sharing and my apology of my lack in english.

  3. all the tips gave me a spirit to study smart. TQ

  4. Some extra points :
    1. Priorities
    Set your priorities right and find a purpose in studying the subjects in school.
    Example: I study Maths to train myself to think logically and rationally.
    When you realize the purpose behind studying the particular subject, you would do your best because it benefits you.

    2. Time management
    If you are the type that has failed miserably (like me) to follow your schedule, do it the opposite way. Instead of planning what you're supposed to do, write done what you have done the entire day. From there, see how procrastinating has stolen your precious time and work on creating more time to study.
    Example :
    1st method-Schedule
    8am-wake up
    ...and so forth

    method 2- reverse schedule
    just write down what you have done the entire day without planning and work on reducing the time wasted.
    example :
    10am-woke up
    4pm-study [time wasted, try to improve the following day]

    3. Mindset
    Why do you study? If your answer is to get good grades -which is partially true-, you need to break that mindset. You study to gain knowledge, to have a better understanding of how the world works and why it works in such a way. You study to train yourself to be a logical and rational person in future and to increase in maturity. Be optimistic and have the right reason when you do things.

    4. Regarding to mindset
    When you start feeling stressed due to the amount of work you have to finish, breathe in and do one small task at the time. Focus on the task you have and not everything at once. Small progress is still progress. Don't beat yourself up too hard. Life is meant to be enjoyed and bad grades mean more experience for you. Aim higher as long it is a challenge for you and you are able to achieve it. Keep working hard and smart until you reach your goals.

  5. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips!
    This is just my two cents, but here are some tips I find useful:

    1. Make a to-do list
    To-do lists aren't exactly the same as schedules. I often find that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT stick to a precise schedule because well, some tasks take longer than expected and of course I have my distractions. So, I just write down what I need to do, and by when, to make sure I don't forget to do something until the night before

    2. Remove distractions
    This move is so effective, yet so unattractive. Off the WiFi, leave your phone in another room, and shut off your computer. Focus on the task in front of you. If this doesn't work, change your environment. For example, go to the library to study. You'll most likely work more effectively somewhere else than in the comfort of your own house/room.

    3. Find your own productivity peek hours
    This is something like the first tip mentioned in the post, but some people are just groggy in the morning and work better at, say, the middle of the night. Find your own time when you work best, and utilise it fully. Don't waste that precious few hours!

  6. Wow, amazing sharing, especially the extra tips in comments! I better get back to my work instead of reading more articles on this website. Thanks!


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