How To…Not Procrastinate

Apologies for missing two posts there, because the time of the holidays also means battling your way through finals. With 5 papers to write and 3 written exams to study, well, hands up in the air if you can relate. But you just gotta roll with the punches and things will get done before you even know it.

So in accordance to the holidays-yet-we-have-to-study theme, I’ll share some tips to overcome a little obstacle in our lives called procrastinating because a lot of things are actually within our control if we pay more attention.

1st, figure out what your best time is. Now by this I mean to figure out what time of day is best to work and establish a schedule. Then, in the middle you can even think about where are the certain places that you think you work best. For me, I really love working from 6 pm onwards where I already have like a 30 to 40 minute break after classes. On weekends or during a study week like what I’m facing, 3 pm onwards is my most favourite time period to work. Why you may ask? Because it’s cafe time! Yes, during that time of day, it’s just so great to grab a cup of coffee and who says you can’t fit in your assignments in there? Personally I love working in my room but after a while it gets stale and a different atmosphere like a cafe does boost your mood even if you think there are many distractions.

2nd, make lists and list all the things you hate at the very top. I swear by my lists, that they are lifesavers. Whether it’s shopping lists, wish lists, to-do lists, and la dee da – there’s just something so exhilarating in crossing off that literary comparison essay off your long list. Not to mention, lists doesn’t only manage your academic life but your personal life as well. So get cute notebook or an agenda and list away!

3rd, just get started. This is because all of our tasks do seem a lot scarier before we even start them as getting started itself is really the first and hardest step. But I swear to you if you put yourself in the right place and in the right state of mind you’ll be thinking “That wasn’t so bad”. To help you get started, set a time target. Tell yourself that you only have let’s say 3 or 5 hours to work, study in the best way possible and complete an assignment. Then tell yourself if you accomplish those tasks, you can give yourself a break by eating ice cream, going out for a bite of pizza or spend time with your friends. Just little things that can motivate you. Don’t be guilty of giving yourself a break, as long as you finish your task because balance is really important. Otherwise, you’ll go insane!

Finally, cut out all distractions. I know that this is the era of social media but putting aside Twitter, Instagram, Path and all of that will do the job. That includes music. Now I don’t mean cutting out music entirely because it does help for many of us, but just listen to instrumentals and even better – classical music. My mother told me about this after she watched a movie adaptation of the life of Princess Diana where the music of Vivaldi was strongly infused in it. I can honestly say that it really, really works! Not only will you focus a lot more without the distraction of song lyrics, classical will both relax and boost your mind.

Keep in mind that everyone has their own methods and pace when it comes to studying and working but I hope my personal tip and tricks will be of some help. That’s all for me right now and the best of luck to any of you facing stressful tasks or assignments. Be strong, we can do this.