Do you put the ‘pro’ in PROcrastinator? Do you often find yourself saying “i’ll do it tomorrow” or “it’s not due for ages, I’ve got plenty of time”. Then you find yourself with a major assignment due in 48 hours and you’ve barely started. You then sit down to start writing that report or essay. But 4 hours later and you’ve cleaned your whole room, reorganized your study space, watched YouTube videos about unexplained ocean mysteries, finished a whole bag of kettle chips and all you’ve successfully managed to do is write the title. Then you start to panic when you realise you have just wasted all that time, when you barely had any to spare to begin with.

I don’t know about you but this has happened to me with such regularity that it surely cannot be good for my mental sanity. If you are reading this, chances are you are probably procrastinating yourself! Now I can’t brag that I have defeated my need to procrastinate. But I have found some useful tips so that i’m not doing it on such a regular basis. Hopefully this is somewhat helpful so that you don’t procrastinate in the future by reading more blogs on how not to procrastinate!

Steps to cure your procrastination

  1. Realise you are delaying something unnecessarily
  2. Discover the real reason for delaying. Then list them.
  3. Dispute those reasons and overcome them.
  4. Start your task!

Avoiding procrastination in practice

  1. Always write down all your deadlines in a calendar. Having a visual representation of everything you have to do always gives me that little push to realise that my time is limited. I can visually see that with all my other commitments, I really don’t have the time to procrastinate. Here are some super helpful apps to help you out.            
  2. Write a to-do-list every morning and allocate a how long each task should take. I find that having these task as goals that need to be completed motivates me to get them done so that I can start fresh for the next day. 
  3. The hardest thing I struggle with is convincing myself to stop making excuses. So now I write down a list of all things i’m currently procrastinating on and then really think about the reason for why i’m delayed from doing it. Write down as many as possible. Take your time, someone the reasons aren’t obvious and are hidden from you. Then make an “arguments against delay” column and make yourself think of convincing arguments against all the reasons for delaying. If you are convincing enough and argue against them successfully, you should be able to start the task.

Tools and tricks that will help

  • Make the tasks look small and easy in your mind. (“I’ve written lots of great essays; this is just one more”).
  • Do a small part of the task each time. (“I’ll go through all the reading material now, later I will plan and structure what points I will use in my essay”).
  • Ten-minute plan: Work on something for just 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes, switch to something else if you want. But hopefully, you’ll get involved enough to keep going!
  • Advertise your plans to accomplish something, allow peer pressure to keep you motivated. (“I told all my friends I was going to finish this tonight”).
  • Change up your environment. If you can’t study at home, find a place where you can, go to a different area in the house or get out and go to the library.
  • Study with a friend or start a study group! If you have trouble concentrating, study with someone who doesn’t.
  • Expect some backslide. Occasionally you plans will not work. That’s ok it happens to all of us! Accept setbacks, shake it off and start again.

Keep working on it because it isn’t going to happen overnight. You may still procrastinate, but now you’ll be able to resolve the problem much more quickly which will increase your self-confidence. When you do succeed, take the time to savour that moment so you remember how good that feeling is. Plus, this will help the next time you need some encouragement!

If you havn’t already check out our previous post about some procrastination techniques we use at Synergy! 5 WAYS TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION