How to stop procrastinating and study
What is procrastinating?
Procrastinating is when you put off doing something that needs to be done. That something, in this instance, is studying. We’ve all been there. We have a deadline, an exam or so
me preparation to do and we’ll find any reason whatsoever not to do it. We’ll sometimes do things we don’t even like (making the bed or washing the dishes) to avoid doing the task at hand.
Why do we procrastinate?
The New York Times quotes Professor of Psychology, Dr. Fuschia Sirois, who says procrastination “is essentially irrational” and that “People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task.” A perfectionist may procrastinate because if they do not start the task then there is no way to fail at that task. Others may procrastinate because of other negative moods such as boredom, anxiety, self doubt or any number of other moods and situations.
It’s an easy cycle to get into: you procrastinate due to feeling self doubt, therefore you put off doing the task at hand, you then rush to complete the task at the last minute which means it is not your best work. Your rushed work will then make you feel even more self doubt and so the cycle continues.
BUT, how do we break this cycle and get down to studying in a positive, productive and enjoyable way?
Here we offer our best tactics for efficient working. This is how to stop procrastinating and study.
The first thing to do is to start being kind to yourself about the fact that you have been procrastinating. Entering into a study session feeling guilty and frustrated with yourself is going to hinder your learning. Be proud of yourself for noticing your procrastinating and for attempting to make a change to your habits.
Secondly, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when staring at your work load. For example, thinking about writing a whole 2000 word essay feels daunting. This is why it’s great to split your work up into smaller parts, bitesize portions if you will. Split your work up into manageable sections, this will help you to begin your work as you can tackle one bitesize task first and then you’re up and running! This technique also means you get more regular rewards.
After you have split your work up into bitesize tasks you can create a reward system for yourself. For example, let’s say you’ve split your work up into 20 small tasks, you can decide to give yourself a reward each time you complete 5 of those tasks. These rewards can be as small as having a cup of tea to going on a walk in the fresh air with a friend or family member.
When working it’s very important to declutter your working area. You need to prepare your work space so that distractions aren’t possible. For most people their phone is a huge distraction. Try placing your phone on the other side of the room, or even better in a completely different room, while you work. Keep your workspace clear of anything that you find distracting, you know yourself best so be honest about what you need to get rid of!
Other tips from us are to make sure you aren’t hungry or dehydrated while working, take regular breaks, stand up every half an hour for a few minutes, if you are struggling with a task then work on something else for a while and then come back to it, start early to avoid rushed work and remember why you are studying.
A further note on this last tip here: remember why you are studying. We tend to be studying to achieve a goal we have set for ourselves or one that we need in order to succeed in life. Try to be clear about your motivation to study while you are doing it, this will help you to stay focused and study with a positive attitude.
To sum up how to stop procrastinating and study we recommend you be kind to yourself, break your work up into bitesize tasks and take regular breaks.