Say Goodbye To Procrastination! 5 Effective Ways To Stop Procrastinating & Start Studying
It’s the morning of your final exams & you are right outside the examination hall. Your friends are having an intense discussion over high weightage topics which let’s be honest, you’re hearing for the very first time. That’s when the nerves kick in. You start feeling jittery & can’t help but think to yourself – why didn’t I study harder. Does this ring a bell?
In the days leading up to this exam, you probably put off studying to binge watch Stranger Things, read your favorite comics or maybe even talk to your plants (hello, Mr Prickles). Anything to keep you distracted from studying, right? If you’ve experienced something similar, ‘serial procrastinator’ sounds like a fitting title for you and your Insta bio.
But how to overcome procrastination? And what are the reasons for procrastination? There could be a bunch of reasons right from finding the task boring, overwhelming or challenging to lack of motivation, fear of failure or good old laziness. To help you find a way around this, we have put together 5 tips to avoid procrastination & be productive.
1. Identify Your Productivity Cycle
Anyone who tells you that you have to be productive 24/7 to achieve good marks needs to know that firstly, this is a myth & secondly, it’s extremely unrealistic. Even class toppers with the perfect scores wouldn’t agree with this analogy. You cannot be productive all day long but you can however be ‘in the zone’ or motivated to study during certain pockets of the day.
Start by analyzing if- you are a morning bird, a night owl or an afternooner (one who is most productive between 11am to 5pm). These motivation pockets are indicators of your productivity cycle. You can then plan your day & schedule study hours that are more aligned with this timeline. This will motivate you to stop procrastinating and get back on track.
2. Create an Environment You Can Thrive In
Your study room might be quite aesthetically pleasing with your favorite wallpaper, a nice study desk, a great view & so on. But just because your room looks ‘Insta worthy’ doesn’t necessarily mean it is set up in a way that beats procrastination. Factors such as noise, lighting & temperature play an important role in influencing your concentration levels.
Limit potential distractions such as phones, TV, play stations, etc. & keep these away from your study space. If you focus better with music while studying, try & experiment with a background noise playlist or ambient sounds. You can also place your desk near a window to draw in more natural light, which will help you be more alert through your study sessions.
3. Adapt Eisenhower’s Principle
If you’ve been trying to stop procrastinating for a while, you’ve probably googled ‘how to overcome procrastination’ at some point. One of the most popular tips online is to set effective goals. And if it’s on google, it’s probably right 😉 Yes, setting effective goals can help you combat procrastination. One of the best tips to avoid procrastination- try using Eisenhower’s Principle.
The idea here is to slot your to-do list under important v/s urgent tasks. You can schedule your activities under these four categories – important & urgent, important but not urgent, not important but urgent, not important & not urgent. Important tasks are ones that cater to your own goals (going through your notes from yesterday) whereas urgent tasks are those that demand immediate attention & cater to secondary goals (like homework due tomorrow).
4. Follow the Pomodoro Technique
Small but consistent steps in the right direction are more likely to result in victory than simply winging it. So instead of starting with overambitious goals, start with small actionable goals that will give you the time to find your study rhythm. Time management methods like the Pomodoro technique can be of great help, especially when you’re figuring out how to avoid procrastination.
If you find it hard to focus through long study hours, this technique offers a blend of both study & rest time. Here, you divide your study sessions into 4 slots of 25-minute sets each. Between the first 3 slots, you can take a 5-minute break & increase your break time to anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes as you move along. You can plan the duration of your study sessions & breaks based on the timeline that works best for you.
5. Practice Planned Procrastination
We’re sure you’ve had days where you just can’t get yourself to focus. Your mind is constantly distracted by the most random things. What if dinosaurs still existed? Where’s that blue t-shirt you wore on your birthday? Something smells great. Oh, it’s probably time for a snack break. Ironically, the more you try to fight this, the more distracted you will be. This is why you need to make your study sessions rewarding.
The next time you feel like you’re unable to focus, try planning your procrastination time in advance. For every 30 minutes of study time, you can have 10 minutes of scrolling on social media or perhaps watch an episode of your favorite show before you get back to your books. This will give you the much-needed refreshment of a break, keep you motivated for longer &, over time, you will notice that you are able to curb your distractions much better.
Since there are many reasons for procrastination, it is always helpful to first identify your ‘why’ & then proceed to look for a solution that is well-suited to you. After all, in a world full of distractions, the ability to focus is nothing short of a super power. We hope these tips help you bid goodbye to procrastination & say hello to productivity!