It is so easy to get side-tracked at university. There is always something going on and it is easy to put your seminar prep and essays last on your list of priorities. But procrastination leads to all-nighters and bad marks and all kinds of things it is better to avoid. So, what can we do about it? I’ve done my fair share of procrastinating at uni, but I am definitely better than I used to be. Here are some of my tips for avoiding it.
1. Make study/revision plans
One of the biggest problems I have found at uni is that you won’t have anything due for a few weeks and you can live in sweet ignorance, procrastinating without any dread or terror. Then suddenly you have 5 things due at once and your life becomes one big ball of stress. To avoid this, it is important to have a plan about when you should be doing what. If you know Saturday you have to write 500 words of an essay, you’re much less likely to spend it watching Netflix.
2. Go to the library
Following on from that, the library can be great for this. At home in your comfy bedroom it can be far too easy to decide to have a nap or watch some Netflix. But if you’ve made the effort to get up and go out to the library, you’re much more likely to do work and less likely to become distracted.
I know it’s not as comfy as a bed, and I know there are other people around – and that’s the point! You’re not going to nap in the library chair and you’re not gonna sit and watch Netflix while people stare and wonder why you’re in the library. It works.
3. Remember that hard work pays off
It can be hard to keep this in mind, especially if you’ve recently had a bad mark or you have other things going on in your life. But you (presumably) want to get good marks and you’re much more likely to get them with a carefully planned and thoughtful essay than one you managed to crank out the night before the deadline running on five red bulls.
4. Allow yourself breaks
I understand that up until now this hasn’t sounded like much fun so far. But it is important to allow yourself time off too. When you write your study plan, give yourself time to relax. Part of the beauty of sticking to it is that once you’re done you can properly relax, you don’t need to worry about deadlines in your downtime because you’re on top of it.
5. Reward yourself!
If you stick to your study plan or get a really good grade, take time to give yourself a little treat. It doesn’t have to be expensive (although some new trainers would be nice). It can be as simple as letting yourself watch an episode of your favourite show or play some video games for a while.
Do you guys have any top tips to stop procrastinating? Post them in the comments!
This article is featured on Learning at Lincoln.