There is no way around it, I love to procrastinate. I would consider procrastination one of my top ten favorite pastimes, but let's be honest, I would probably procrastinate putting that list together.
The very thought of forcing myself to work on something for hours on end is enough for me to not attempt to try it at all.
I know that waiting for the last minute to work on class assignments often hinders the quality of my work and my overall grade would suffer.
As a response to my previous semester, I wanted to start this upcoming semester right and compile a list of tips to prevent procrastination and improve my overall productivity.
Ironically, I did not procrastinate on putting this list together or writing this article, so I guess my tips worked after all...
So, here are 10 ways to prevent procrastination and improve your productivity this semester!
1. Outline Your Plan The Night Before.
I know from experience that sometimes the act of making a to-do list is an act of procrastination all in itself.
Set aside some time the night before to plan out what needs to get done and by what time it should be done by. That way you have nothing to worry about when you actually need to get started and you will be more productive as a whole.
2. Try Bullet Journaling.
Before this year, I have heard of the concept of the bullet journal , but I have not tried to put one together for myself until recently.
A bullet journal is essentially a more advanced version of a to-do list and a weekly planner. They are based on a system that is designed to help you stay organized and on task with both daily projects and long-term goals.
3. Make a To-Do List In Order Of Priority.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but I had not considered this until last semester.
Try to put everything that needs to be done in a list from the greatest importance to the least importance. That way everything of the greatest priority will get done and everything that you can still get started on things that are not as important.
This is a great way to make sure that everything that is of great importance gets done first and then you can access everything that still needs to be done.
4. Break Tasks into Smaller, Easier-to-Handle Tasks.
To Do lists can be deceiving. When your list consists of nothing but pages of statistics homework, mountains of papers, and a reasonably sized library of assigned readings due within the next few weeks, motivation to actually tackle those tasks might be hard to come by.
Instead, try to break all of your assignments into smaller, easier to digest pieces. Instead of just writing “Work on Paper for History” try breaking it down into smaller steps as a way to keep yourself on track.
5. Download the Self Control App.
The Self Control App has been a lifesaver during my college career. It is an app that you can download onto your computer that will “blacklist” certain distracting websites from anywhere from a couple of minutes to an entire day.
It is really useful because it makes sure that your focus is directed to something a little more important than scrolling through the endless depths of Facebook or drowning in Buzzfeed listicles.
6. Give the Pomodoro Technique A try.
The Pomodoro Technique is a method of time management where you work on something for about 25 minutes and then you take a 3-5 minute break. After four 25 minute/3-5 minute breaks you take a longer 15-20 minute break.
This is great for people who cannot stay in one place for very long without going a little crazy, myself included, while also forcing yourself to work on something constructively.
7. Grab A Study Buddy!
I don’t know about you, but I tend to work better with a homework buddy. Study buddies work because they help to motivate each other and make sure that everyone one stays on task.
The best study buddies are ones that you know that you get along with and will get a lot of work done but are not too overly distracting.
Also, location is key. You are more likely to power through your to-do list in a quiet environment such as the library rather than somewhere with a lot of distractions such as a very busy spot on campus.
8. Set A Deadline.
One of the easiest steps that you could take to prevent procrastination is to set a goal that has to be reached by a certain deadline.
Ideally, this deadline is at least a few days before the actual deadline where something is due. This gives you enough time to work on something to make sure that it is the best that I can be.
9. Focus On One Thing At A Time.
It has been proven that multitasking doesn't work. You are likely to finish a task quicker if you are only working on one thing at a time then trying to juggle a number of different things at once you will get more things done in a more efficient way and are more likely to stay on task in the long run.
10. Reward Yourself Afterward.
Treat yo self (But only after everything is done). There is no greater motivator than rewarding yourself after you have finished everything on your list. This is a great way to stay focused and keep your overall goal in mind.