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How to Fight Procrastination

April 2, 2021

The end of the semester is drawing near and finals week is just around the corner. Staying focused can be quite a struggle when summer is getting closer. At this point of the semester, you might be burnt out from the amount of schoolwork given and experiencing some procrastination. But you can’t stop now since the semester isn’t completely over yet. So how do you stop procrastination? We’ve included five tips that may help get back on track.

  • Recognize why you are procrastinating

The very first step to fight off procrastination is by recognizing and asking why it is happening in the first place. Are you putting something off because of the deadline? Is the project so long that you don’t want to start it yet? You can probably already tell that you are procrastinating by the fact that you haven’t finished something when you know you need to get it done soon. You might also frequently repeat to yourself that you will get it done later, but when it is later, you still don’t get it completed. 

  • Remove any distractions

 There are many distractions around that keep us from getting things done.  Our phones, for example, are one of the main types of distractions that are common for everyone. We receive many notifications during the day such as when you receive text messages or emails. One of the best ways to stay focused on a task is by eliminating any distractions. If it’s an object, try keeping it in a separate room. If it’s something you can’t physically move, try moving yourself into a different area. Once you’ve removed distractions that you have found, you must ensure that you won’t find or create any others. Although you have excluded the distractions that you know for certain will stray your focus, it can become easy to create others. For example, you might be trying to get homework done outside and notice that the garden is full of weeds. Instead of staying focused on that homework, you might decide to start weeding the garden. If you are dreading doing something, creating distractions can be difficult to prevent.

  • Determine how big the task is

Depending on how big your task is, different approaches can be used to get them finished. If it’s something small and be done in a short amount of time, it is best to go ahead and get it out of the way. Small jobs can quickly add up if you are constantly putting them off. Then all of a sudden it becomes a bigger project than what it was in the beginning. If your task is quite large, it is best to break it down into smaller parts. Writing an essay is a great example of a large project. You can start by setting a day for research, a day for outlines, a couple days for writing and a day for editing. It is also important to plan out how you will break down large projects so that you are able to still make the deadline in time.

  • Encourage yourself and create rewards

Sometimes there are assignments that we dislike so much that we never bring ourselves to doing it. To solve this, try finding words of encouragement and create a reward for yourself. There are many different ways you can approach this depending on what it is that needs done. If it’s studying for an exam, you can tell yourself that studying now will help you remember the material better and once it is over, reward yourself by doing something fun and not school related. Creating rewards might give you the motivation to get something completed as soon as possible.

  • Do not be fatigued 

It is very difficult to stay focused when you are tired and/or hungry. Make sure that you have gotten plenty of rest and eaten a good meal before you start working on tasks. But do not turn these into distractions either. For instance, you may get bored from reading a textbook and instead of finishing it, you decide to take a nap, even though you are somewhat well rested and don’t need it. It is fine to take a rest occasionally or to get a snack, but do not make it a constant habit to lead you away from the main goal at hand.

Fighting off procrastination can be quite tricky, especially when the semester is coming close to an end. Start off by practicing recognition and asking why you are procrastinating. Then remove any distractions that create a prevention, break down all of your tasks depending on how big they are, find encouragement and create rewards and always remember to keep your body well rested and fed. These are just a few steps that will hopefully inspire you to stay more focused. You can do it!