Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Ways to Avoid the Deadly Trap of Procrastination

As the final exam season starts to kick in, there is a lot of pressure in terms of deadlines that make students overwhelmed. In this process, it is very easy to be demotivated and discouraged to spend time to study which ultimately leads to procrastinating. Before I start talking about the ways in which you can avoid being a victim at the hands of procrastination, it is highly important that you understand why you are procrastinating in the first place. The AA&CC’s website has a tip sheet dedicated to procrastination which lists the important reasons that lead to it.

Creating a Routine

In order to keep yourself disciplined academically, it is important that you have a routine that is both productive and realistic. If you were to expect yourself to study 12 hours a day then the likelihood of that happening would be very slim. Balance is key in productivity. You need to have a set number of hours while also giving yourself some free time as a reward. That way you will be motivated to accomplish a goal in anticipation of the reward you will be giving yourself later on. However, beware of stretching your reward time where it becomes procrastination in disguise. There is a very fine line between a break from studying and not studying at all. Use your time wisely because once it’s gone it will not come back. 

Develop an Interest

I am a huge advocate of studying what you love and are truly passionate about. For example, my love for books and films led me to study English Literature which attracts me to study the course material. The undergraduate degree must be a learning experience that is both enlightening and enjoyable for students. However, at times you may find yourself struggling with course work that does not interest you. In that circumstance, try to find ways to interact with the coursework. Drop by your Professor’s office hours and discuss topics that you’re having difficulty with. The more understanding you have of the material, the easier it will be to develop an interest. You may even find that going the extra mile might reveal some hidden interests that you weren’t aware you had to begin with. Once you are accustomed with the material, you will find that you won’t have the urge to procrastinate any further.

Taking Initiative

Most of the time, you might find that it is very hard for you to go into the study mode you were hoping for. In that case, it is highly important that you start somewhere. My advice would be to begin with a course that you enjoy the most. Starting with the easiest will give you the time you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind to study.

Understand Yourself
Try to figure out what makes you procrastinate. Every student has a different mind-set and pattern that drives them to get things done. Ask yourself questions that might help you understand yourself better. Are you too stressed to think about work? Why are you demotivated? How can you motivate yourself to accomplish certain goals throughout the day? What is the best time for you to study? With all the amount of work we are swamped with, it gets really difficult to listen to ourselves and understand our choices. Answering questions like these will definitely help solve the problem of procrastination.

Avoid Distractions

While Social media is a great tool to connect with people, it is very easy to get lost in time and can become one of the factors that result in procrastination. I understand that it can be really hard to disconnect from Social media but try to utilize it towards your academic commitments. For example, create a study group and exchange notes with your fellow peers. This is a great way to interact with new people and engage with the material in a creative way. Also try to create a study environment with minimal distractions. It is always good to disconnect from things that prevent you from completing academic commitments on time.

I hope that these tips will be useful in overcoming procrastinating habits. I wish you all the best of luck for your upcoming exams. This will be my last blog for the academic year *sniff*. Hopefully, I was able to share some inspiration with the academic and career blog postings.

Goodbye for now,

-Ayesha Haq

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