how to avoid procrastination when studying
…But once you start, you won’t stop (as Newton taught us!). So stop overthinking and preparing for work, actually DO THE WORK.
2. Use your strongest sensation to memorise things
Part of the reason we procrastinate is because the task at hand seems too daunting. It’s a lot easier to get started on a project when you establish simple, reachable goals rather than a big, vague plan. Instead of telling yourself, “I’ll study biology tonight,” say, “I’ll study chapter six tonight.” This makes your goals less intimidating and more attainable. Read this blog on tackling your goals for more advice.
When loaded with assignments, it’s easy to overwork yourself. Plus, our brains can really only handle so much information and focus at a time! So. how long should you study for? Everyone is different, but most experts agree on a range of 50 to 90 minutes. Set a timer for a block of focused studying or work to prevent yourself from burning out.
No one wants to take notes on a long and dry academic reading. But putting it off can make the unpleasant task seem scarier and may distract you as the guilt sits in your mind. If you procrastinate while you’re studying you’re just prolonging the pain.
This is a damaging mindset for two reasons:
3. Our likelihood of procrastinating also goes up the more easily distracted we are. It’s easier to procrastinate on that paper when you are constantly getting texts from friends about the exciting stuff they’re doing while you’re in the library.
Hopefully that helps clarify why procrastination is such a sticky problem and why we all tend to procrastinate a little differently. Here are some tips to stop you from procrastinating once and for all.
As long as the task you are redirecting to is still relevant to your goals, (say, finishing up some edits instead of creating a new article), it’s okay to forgive yourself and redirect your behavior.
- Write down when and where you will complete a task (students who did this were far more likely to complete assignments)
- Make a public commitment by sharing your plan with a friend or simply emailing someone (“I will have that for you tomorrow by 5pm”). Leave a healthy amount of time for emergencies, but don’t give yourself a week when you really need a day or two.