College is the home of deadlines and endless assignments. Whether you’re a community college or University Student, we’ve all pushed that assignment to the last minute.
Boom an all-nighter. Our most common entity. Sitting down and doing assignments is difficult, procrastination is truly our worst enemy.
Here are 10 Ways to Avoid Procrastination for the Lazy College Student:
1. Pack/Make your meals the night before
As a college student, its difficult already to physically get out of bed and tend to your responsibilities. You would rather sleep-in and wait until the very last call to wake up before you’re late. The point is, we would rather give up eating breakfast for a couple more minutes of sleep.
NO food equals less concentration, less concentration equals more procrastination. To make your life a lot easier, pack your breakfast/lunch the night before.
College carries long hours of academics, work, clubs, and studying. Within that time a huge chunk of being able to do something productive is lost when thinking about what you are going to eat.
Skipping breakfast and your morning coffee can cause you to waste 30 minutes after class looking for sustenance to keep you going when you can use that time to reply to emails. Preparing your meals ahead of time will save you time and prevent you from procrastinating even more.
2. Don’t Take that 9 am
It’s time to build your next semesters schedule. You find a class you REALLY want to take. The problem is, it starts at 9am. “Pssht… I would wake up at 7am in high school for classes, I cant TOTALLY do a 9am.”
Please, please, PLEASE DO NOT listen to that instinct! You think you can do it for 16 weeks, but the reality is you’re going to get tired. With a high rigor schedule, you will sleep late and will have a hard time waking up early.
Really ask yourself if you can truly make a 9am on time 2 times a week for 16 weeks. Listen to your body, if you decide to take that 9am and have a long day ahead of you with classwork, you will be tired.
The more tired you are from waking up early, the more focused you’re going to be in getting sleep, the more you are willing to procrastinate. Be honest with yourself, take an afternoon class instead to wake up at a reasonable time, feeling refreshed and well-rested to tackle some work.
3. Divide your Homework
Once the semester starts to pick up, assignments start to pile up. The biggest lazy college student mistake is to see that pile of deadlines and assignments as a whole, causing feelings of anxiety and overwhelmedness. STOP THAT.
Its a lot. We get it! Seeing it as a whole will make you not want to even look/think about it. The more you put if off causing you to procrastinate.
Get a planner. This will allow you to divide your homework according to class, day, time and amount.
In your planner:
- Label ALL your classes according to the days and time you take them
- Label ALL assignments for each class
- Input the times you are doing something else other than academics/class (Work, Club, Volunteering, etc).
- Spread at least 1-2 assignments to each weekday in the chucks you are available
- Come up with a reasonable time that you think will allow you to complete that assignment.
- Check off what has been done
This process allows you to feel accomplished and allows you to visually see what you need to accomplish, by when and what time. Dividing your homework into chucks helps alleviate anxiety and drops the feeling of procrastination.
4. Get an Accountability Buddy
Whether it is a friend or a supervisor get someone who constantly checks up on you to see your progress. This is different than a study-buddy. A study-buddy is when two or more friends sit down and do homework together for a class, possibly preparing for an exam.
An accountability buddy consistently checks up to see those “checkmark completions” from your calendar. They follow up with you on your goals. Whether its a friend, professor or supervisor, get someone willing to call you out if you’re starting to procrastinate.
Having this buddy encourages you to reach your goals because someone is expecting something out of you. You don’t want to let anybody down. Your accountability buddy believes in you and that encourages you to do the same. Whether they check in on you once a week or once a month, they encourage you and remind you of your goals.
Accountability buddies will help you not procrastinate for the average lazy college student.
5. No PHONE
You have a HUGEEE midterm exam in a week. You’ve prepared your week to study. *Ding* “Hmmm I should get that… now that I’m here let me check my feed..”
Before you know it, you are mindlessly scrolling and wasting potential study time on your phone. This may be the toughest one yet. “How can I not be on my phone looking at memes, when I prefer to see the latest Tik Tok than to be reading about Cell Division?!”
Letting go of your most prized possession is tough, but it’s not forever. Turn off your phone, leave it at your dorm, take your study materials and go. This may be the only way to truly focus without a technological distraction.
There have been various studies that show smartphone usage impacting your productivity. Drop the phone for a couple of hours and your mind will be 100% focused on your assignment and will help you better retain the information.
If you truly cannot leave your phone at your dorm while you are at the library, ask a library employee to hold it for you. Trust me they will.
6. Don’t Cram
Absolutely DO NOT, leave studying an entire course the night before the exam. Spread out and set specific studying times. You will not retain or remember any information in doing this.
Don’t sacrifice your sleep and time to cram a load of information that will not stay in your brain for a long period. Set that studying time in your calendar and look at your syllabus ahead of time to see your examination date.
All-nighters are pretty common. As common as they are, they do not set you up for success. You have a 10-page paper due at 10 am and have not started? Don’t bust an allnighter, instead rotate sleep.
Set a timer, sleep for two hours and work 2 hours. This is more productive because you are allowing your brain to rest. Try this 2-hour rotation and you will feel more refreshed in the morning than an all-nighter would.
If you need an extra boost, just drink it! It makes you procrastinate less and helps you focus. This one is pretty self-explanatory!
9. Take Breaks
Take a walk around the library. Play with your cat for 10 minutes. Taking breaks is vital to information retention. Don’t sit staring at a screen for hours on end, you’ll feel less motivated and your procrastination will skyrocket.
Take a break, whether its 10 minutes or an hour. Take a break, your work will not go anywhere. It can wait. This will help you avoid procrastination.
10. Treat yo Self!
Hard work really does pay off! Treat yourself to something you’d like. Get that pair of shoes! or Get that concert ticket! You deserve it after working so hard on not procrastinating. You’ll feel accomplished!
College is hard to keep up with deadlines and assignments. You get lazy and procrastinate more often than you think.
We hope these 10 tips help you find ways to avoid procrastination and boost the motivation to reach your goals!
Do you have any other study tips? Which one is the most difficult for you?
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Journalism Major California State University Dominguez Hills