As humans we have a tendency to procrastinate. This is no surprise. However, what may come as a surprise is ways of how to not procrastinate. I know it may seem daunting, but in reality, tips for how to not procrastinate are not as difficult as one may think. If you are suffering from procrastination, definitely keep reading for these fifteen easy, amazing tips for how to not procrastinate!
1. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it every morning.
One surefire way of how to not procrastinate is to make it a habit of making your bed once you wake up in the morning, every morning. This will resist you from falling asleep again. Add some decorative pillows to make your bed appealing. The cleaner it looks, the more you resist the temptation to ruin it.
2. Make a realistic DAILY ‘To Do’ List.
Make sure to organize your day’s work into a list, the night before. This will help you feel organized and know what exactly you need to tackle the next day. Use colorful pens, and symbols to highlight the important tasks and the not so important tasks. Trust!!! The feeling you get after checking each task off is surreal.
3. Don’t do work in your room.
To be very honest, I feel more productive sitting in the library than in my room, where my temptation to hop onto bed and watch Friends on Netflix never ends. Being surrounded by books and other studious students help me focus and motivates me to get all my work done. I strongly recommend you to use resources provided in the library to the best of your ability in order to avoid procrastination. University of Guelph provides quiet study areas to avoid procrastination. Plus a good cup of coffee from Starbucks can add to your treat for completing your tasks and homework.
4. Divide up your work over long periods of time and do a little bit every day.
A wonderful way of how to not procrastinate is to make sure you are setting realistic expectations for yourself and what you hope to accomplish each day. If you are assigned a project due one month from now, write out a plan of everything you need to do for that project and designate a half hour (or even 10 minutes) every day. This way you won’t find yourself pulling an all-nighter for most likely poor quality work.
5. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
This is the most important criteria when it comes to avoiding procrastination. Having a good night sleep will keep your mind and body fresh during the next day. Having a happy and alert mind is the best way to motivate yourself and avoid procrastination.
6. Set a timer for yourself to make sure you are keeping focus and taking breaks.
Setting a Pomodoro Timer for yourself works as a method to complete a certain task as quick as possible, because a timer makes you motivated and competitive in a way to avoid procrastination. Have 25 minutes to study with a 5 minute break is one of the best methods to avoid being tired and get the most work done is the shortest time possible. Believe me, by the end of the 25 minutes, YOU WILL know, those 25 minutes were well worth it.
7. Set awards for yourself, big or small, depending on the assignment.
Working all the time will certainly lower your motivation level. Awarding yourself with a treat like chocolate or an episode of your favourite Netflix series works to push you. If you complete a large task, award yourself with an evening with friends or a movie. This keeps you going and the idea of an award will certainly not lower your concentration and motivation level.
8. Set dates to study or work with friends so you have to show up.
Having people around you with the same goal will help you stay focused. Sometimes our mental strength gives up, so that’s when we need friends and family for support. Having study groups will let you understand the material of your course and discuss topics of concern. Such discussion will allow you to learn the material in a short time without losing focus.
9. Set a weekly goal along with your daily to-do list.
I strongly recommend everyone to set weekly goals in order to break them down into smaller and more achievable goals for the day. Having an overarching idea of what is expected from you over the week will let you know how to break down the material throughout the week.
10. Having a clean environment to work in is key for how to not procrastinate.
Having a clean and organized room and study area is important in order to stay focused and avoid procrastination.
11. Wake up early.
Study says that morning is the time where our human mind is the most fresh and alert. It is easy to get a lot of your work done in the morning compared to any other time of the day.
12. Set a habitual study schedule that you can actually stick with.
Make sure to follow a specific pattern in order to set a habit throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to avoid procrastination and carry the regular schedule.
13. Put your phone away.
If you want to get work done, lose your phone. Avoid using it for texting, social media and specially SNAPCHAT, it distracts you to an extent that you lose a lot of your valuable time.
In short Phone = Procrastination.
Pro Tip: Maybe a reward you can give yourself (see #7) is to check your phone every half hour!
14. Devote some time to regularly exercise.
Sitting in one place, can tire you, so get up and get moving. An hour session of relaxing workout or yoga can boost your ability to work more and get more things done. With the many universities who have daily classes, I strongly recommend that you attend the sessions to keep your mind and body fit and active.
15. Only focus on what is a priority.
Probably the biggest, most important tip of all in terms of how to not procrastinate is realizing what is a priority and what is not. There are always items on our to-do lists that are trivial compared to other items. Unfortunately, we usually end up doing the most trivial things first because they seem the fastest or easiest. You will never be able to accomplish everything you want to do at once if you don’t make sure you are attacking the items of most important first.