Friday, October 19, 2012

5-Minute Plan

Now that midterms and assignment deadlines are in full swing, it's definitely hard not to fall behind your readings and school work. Procrastination is a tough habit to break and students are among the most vulnerable groups. The reason for this is that the rewards for students are further along the future and that there are no supervisors overlooking your progression and productivity. Let's face it, everyone procrastinates. Procrastination can reflect poor work and bad grade. It can also take a toll on the students' mental health and well being. Also, high level of stress from procrastination can definitely prevent you from finishing that to-do list you intend on doing successfully. So, how to break out of this habit? That may be the ultimate question.. well, at least in regards to this blog post.

Personally, I find the hardest thing to do when tackling heavy loaded and time-consuming school work is starting. Being able to start a task even with weeks of planning can be really tough, especially when you're not in the right mindset. The best step for this is commiting to work on the task for atleast 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you can do something else if you want to but make sure you make yourself come back and do the task for another 5 minutes. No matter how unpleasant the task is or whatever excuse you have for not doing it, you can talk yourself into doing something for 5 minutes. Then, eventually you would progress. After working on this for the first 5 minutes, the next couple of minutes will be so much easier! Getting some work done gives you that exhilarating feeling of completion and may be that kick you need to get you started. 

Sitting down, cleaning your desk, organizing your notes and books can actually help you put yourself in the right mindset to start on your task. I also find that thinking about the disadvantages of putting the task on hold can be that booster you need to start. You may not want to do the task because it may be boring, hard, or the fear of failure. However, if you procrastinated before, you would have realised that there is more pain in procrastinating than in not doing your tasks (i.e. bad grade for a paper or a midterm). So, make yourself do the task and stick to a schedule.

Remember to not overwhelm yourself. Thinking about all the things you need to do may be the reason for you procrastinating in the first place. So take one step at a time. Focus on one task for now or break it down into smaller tasks. After completion of one, move on to the next. You'll be done that exhaustive to-do list in no time!

Rewarding for completing a task can definitely help! It gives me that flow I need of moving forward. I would give myself a little treat like chocolate (I love pastries!) or even dinner with friends after completing one task. Positive reinforcement is a great way to reinforce a good study habit.. and eventually, procrastination will be a thing in the past! 

All the information from this blog post can be found on this tipsheet. So good luck and now give yourself that much needed 5 minutes to start working on your first task! :) 

Until next time,

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