It is finally April! We have escaped the dark cold tunnel that was March and we can finally see sunlight at the other end. Spring has sprung, and you know what that means... Summer is just around the corner. Unfortunately, it also means it’s close to the end of the spring semester. Chances are, your due dates for all your finals, projects, and projects are lingering over your shoulder. But come on, it’s finally nice out! How can we be expected to spend 6-8 hours of our day doing homework?
By now, you have probably fallen victim to spring semester procrastination. This is when you would rather do literally anything else than actual work and you find yourself saving everything to the last agonizing minute. This time last year, I had saved my final papers for two classes (about 10 pages each) to literally the night before they were due. I spent 24 hours trying to get these papers done and ran across campus two minutes before class to get to hand it in on time. I find myself doing something stupid like this every year so here are some helpful hints I found to make this year different:
1. Change your scenery
If you can’t seem to motivate yourself to get work done while you're at home, grab your laptop and go somewhere else. Whether it be a Starbucks or a library, have somewhere to go where you won’t be distracted and are able to get into an element where you can get things done!
2. Study with a buddy
This is important because depending on who you pick, they can either really help you or hurt you. Find a friend who is just as desperate as you - preferably someone in your class - and see if you can motivate each other to get work done together. It’s a lot easier to get work done when you have someone helping you through. However, if you pick someone who is distracting or aids in procrastination, maybe find another study buddy.
3. Don’t beat yourself up
The worst thing you can do is get mad at yourself for procrastinating. Instead of getting yourself in a funk because you have so much work to do and you saved it all for this last-minute, say “Okay, this is what I have to do, this is how much time I have, let’s get started.” We all have bad time management from time to time, it doesn’t mean you’re lazy or you’re a bad student. You’re an overworked human who deserves to have a life outside of school.
4. Start small
Instead of focusing on this huge assignment you have due at the end of the week and getting overwhelmed, get it out of your head and do your smaller assignments that will take less time first. This way you will still feel like your getting work done and being productive and it clears up your mind to focus on the big assignment ahead.
5. Don’t be a perfectionist
If you're putting off an assignment because you are picturing a perfect completed assignment and it seems impossible, then don’t think perfect, think done. Instead of saying, “What do I have to do to make this assignment perfect?" think "What do I have to do to get this done?” This makes the assignment appear a lot more simple and manageable in your head.
6. Don't have time? Make time
Doing a little at a time makes a big difference. One thing I have found to be useful is have my laptop open while I was watching TV and every time a commercial came on, I would do as much writing as I can within that time. Little things like that add up and will make your life a lot easier come due date.