By Melina Scarfo
Do you find yourself scrolling through mind numbing posts on Facebook, watching hours of Extreme Cheapskates on YouTube and reorganising your underwear drawer in the hope that your essay will magically complete itself? If yes, then you are a procrastinator.
Every year begins the same. We make empty promises to not leave assignments until two in the morning which results in staring at an empty Word document until our eyes burn. I am probably not the best person to be giving advice on this topic considering I took a quiz on procrastination when I was meant to be writing this. Obviously the only true expert worth listening to is Rory from Gilmore Girls. That being said, here are some tips on how to get shit done.
Lists are your best friend
There is nothing like a good list to motivate you. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you want to achieve today. Prioritise your tasks and make sure they are things which need to be completed. Your list should not include re-watching the first season of One Tree Hill or organising your books/CDs/DVDs in alphabetical order. Create specific tasks with deadlines.
Do it first thing in the morning
Wake up early and tackle that assignment. If you need copious amounts of coffee, then so be it. Your energy levels and concentration will be at their highest in the morning. So complete the most dreaded task first so you can concentrate on other things. However, everyone is different and if you prefer the silence of night time then that is okay too. Study when it suits you.
This is easier said than done. When you’re trying to write a 2000 word essay, suddenly beat boxing goats on YouTube become the most interesting thing in the world. Try moving yourself somewhere where you have limited distractions. Sit at a desk, not on your bed, and use pen and paper if possible. Listen to instrumental or ambient music. You may even have to consider the unthinkable: turning off the internet!
Break a large task into smaller ones
‘I work better under pressure, so I don’t need to do it right now.’ How many times have you said that and later found yourself trying to frantically finish an assignment? Sometimes large tasks can be overwhelming so break them down into small, manageable tasks. Work on them a little each day instead of trying to complete the assignment in one sitting.
Just do it
In high school my maths teacher would share her words of wisdom with the class each day. ‘Just do it!’ she’d bellow as she flipped furiously through the math text book. Yes, she may have stolen that from Nike but it’s true. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get it over with. The dread of the task can often be more overwhelming than the task itself.
Now that you know how to combat procrastination, you can look forward to a stress free year. But you’re probably not going to do any of this, are you?