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4 simple ways to avoid procrastination

By ImanRLA 16 Feb 2021

Picture this: It’s Thursday evening and the clock is ticking. You’re frantically trying to finish an essay in time for the looming 6 o' clock deadline, regretting all the hours you’ve wasted on social media, coffee “breaks” and binge-watching.

Almost everyone is guilty of procrastinating at some point or another. Procrastination only becomes problematic when you actively and continuously delay important tasks, because it can lead to the deterioration of your productivity, grades and mental wellbeing.

No doubt, the rise in remote learning (thanks to COVID-19) can make it much more difficult to stop this habit. The need for self-discipline, motivation and organisation has never been greater, so I’ve compiled some tips below that have helped me drastically reduce my procrastination levels.

Plan out your week
Arrange some time on the weekend to create a timetable for all the tasks you have to complete this week because you simply cannot expect yourself to keep track of all the different assignments and their varying due dates. Equally, you could purchase a planner or download a calendar app as a method of committing yourself to your tasks. Taking any action will help you to massively eliminate the anxiety and guilt associated with procrastination!

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Set SMART goals
One of the major reasons for procrastination amongst students is that the impending task often appears to be too overwhelming and even intimidating. Setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals will help you to successfully divide your work into smaller and more manageable chunks, setting you on the right path to achieving your goals by the deadline. Instead of saying, “I will revise Microeconomics today,” try, “I will revise chapter 5 of Microeconomics from 5-8pm this evening.”

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Remove all distractions
To avoid getting unnecessarily side-tracked in the middle of a task, you need to identify and then subsequently get rid of any foreseeable distractions. Simple acts like shutting down your phone or (even better) ditching it in a completely different room, will create the physical barrier needed to prevent you from spending hours aimlessly scrolling through Social Media. To further maximize productivity, you could try switching up your study environment by spending some time revising in your local coffee shop.

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Reward yourself
As mentioned above, don’t forget to refresh your mind by scheduling in the occasional break. Having something to look forward to, will give you the incentive needed to fully concentrate on completing your work, whilst also doing wonders for your mental health. 

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