10 Tips to Fight off Procrastination and Start Studying
You know how important it is to take advantage of your opportunity to obtain an education. Unfortunately, procrastination is a habit that can cause you serious problems as you try to obtain success.
Don't let this happen. Instead, use a few of these strategies to make sure that you stay on track.
1. Don't be Afraid to Start in the Middle
Sometimes, the most difficult thing about studying is simply getting started. This is often because what you would normally see as the first task is often the most tedious and labor intensive. For example, the idea of sitting down and reading a three unit chapter in a text book can seem absolutely miserable.
This, of course, leads to procrastination. The solution? If reading the chapter seems like such an ordeal, don't do it. Instead, do something else that will allow you to make progress such as reviewing vocabulary words or finding answers to the questions at the of the chapter.
2. Study as Little as Possible
It's easy to procrastinate if you feel as if you are going to be stuck at your desk studying for hours. If you study as efficiently as possible, and you study only the material you need to learn, the task will take much less time. Try these tips to minimize study time:
- Use a flashcard app such as Study Blue that will only have you review the flashcards that you have not mastered
- Use chapter questions, assignment rubrics, presentation bullet points, and other cues to determine what you need to learn
- Learn to recognize when you have mastered something and move on
3. Stay at School to Study
At the end of the school day, it's probably tempting to hop in your car or walk back to your apartment or dorm room. The problem is that once you arrive at your destination it's easy to find a dozen things to do other than study.
So, rather than heading home only to be tempted by Netflix, a nap, cleaning, Xbox Live, or whatever distraction happens to call to you, why not stay at school? The library is sure to be more conducive to studying than your room.
4. Read Something that Will Motivate and Inspire You
Procrastination isn't laziness. Sometimes it is just a sign of a loss of passion and appreciation for learning. One of the best ways to rekindle your own passion for learning is to take some time to learn about others who have accomplished amazing things due to their dedication to learning.
Even better, take a few moments to learn about a hero like Malala who has fought not only for her education, but for the right of girls all over the world to receive an education.
5. Know Your Procrastination Triggers
Do you tend to procrastinate only when faced with assignments from specific classes? Do you find it easy to read, but put off writing assignments to the last moment?
Is there a particular day of the week that you have difficulty motivating yourself to do any studying? If you can narrow down what is causing you to procrastinate, you may be able to find some solutions. For example, if you dread writing assignments, you can try hitting up the writing center at your school for some extra help.
6. Get a Study Partner
If you can find a good study partner, one who is serious about studying and good staying on task, you'll increase your chances of staying on task. This is because you'll be more self conscious about wasting another person's time than you are about wasting your own.
7. Promise Yourself a Reward
If you have a large project to finish, plan to treat yourself in some way once it is finished. You will be less likely to put off the various tasks that you need to work through if you have something pleasurable waiting on the other side.
Even something small like allowing yourself to indulge in a trip to the coffee shop can be motivation enough.
If you aren't actively using the internet to study, disconnect. Turn off your email notifications, close down your browser, and put your phone on silent. If you are still too tempted, use an app that blocks your most distracting websites while you study.
It will be painful at first, but you'll be happy as soon as your tasks have been completed.
9. Write a To-Do List
There is nothing quite as satisfying checking a finished task off of a list. In fact, some people find this act so satisfying that once they write their to-do list, they feel compelled to work their way through it.
In addition to this, tasks often seem much less daunting if they are broken down and written out on paper.
10. Chip Away at Your Studying Throughout the Day
Who wouldn't want to procrastinate if studying was always some monolithic task they had to complete in a single session. Find small breaks in your schedule during the day and use them to slowly work your way through your schoolwork.