By Dolores Carrillo
In the past year, with virtual learning becoming the new normal, it has become harder not to procrastinate. Almost everyone is stuck at home and the distractions are endless. Many times getting our work done is not a priority because we would rather be binge-watching the new Netflix show or playing some video games. The truth is everyone procrastinates and it has become a big problem. It’s 2021 people and this is the year we leave procrastination behind! Here are seven ways to stop yourself from procrastinating and get a grip on your life.
1. Organize your class documents
This one is pretty obvious but sometimes overlooked. Having all your class documents and organizing them into different folders really helps. Not only will you know where everything is, now you won’t be panicking and downloading the same syllabus for the 17th time this semester. It is also helpful to download any documents, PowerPoints, notes, outlines or any other helpful information provided by your professor. These might come in handy in the future. Keep them in separate folders for each class and make sure you name them something easy to find.
2. Create a timeline
Set a goal for what you want to get done and by when. Giving yourself a deadline helps you achieve your goals quicker and gives you a sense of accomplishment. We all love that! An excellent way to keep yourself on track is to aim to finish an assignment one or two days before the due date. By adjusting your timeline to finish assignments early, you give yourself some wiggle room in case anything goes wrong. This also helps you with time management especially if you’re taking a lot of classes.
3. Keep a calendar with important dates.
You have to write down important dates. No matter how much you tell yourself you’ll remember, YOU WILL NOT remember. You can find great options for creating your own calendar on Canva. On your calendar, list out all assignments and their corresponding due dates. Having every assignment on your calendar gives you a visual of how much time you have to get it done. Also, the calendar allows you to see what other assignments are due at the same time. This way, if you see you have multiple assignments dues on one day, you’ll give yourself enough time for them both or perhaps work on them earlier.
4. Create a weekly to-do list or checklist.
This goes hand-in-hand with your calendar. Once all of your assignments are listed on your calendar you’ll want to create a weekly to-do list or checklist. Doing this extra step will be incredibly helpful. Also, you’ll get to cross things off or put a check next to them when they are completed, and that always feels great! Checklists allow you to allocate time to individual tasks in a certain timeframe and that’s exactly what you need. Have a list of things you need to get done weekly to ensure you don’t miss anything. You can find great checklists templates on Canva or create your own using the tools provided on the website. Another great way to keep all your assignments and tasks organized is to use a daily planner. Whichever one you decide to use make sure all the assignments, tasks, and errands are listed out properly to ensure you don’t miss anything.
5. Take breaks in between
After working on homework for a long time it becomes harder to concentrate. As a result, the work you’re producing starts getting worse in quality. We’ve all heard the voice inside our head say, “Just turn it in. Even if it’s not the best, at least it’ll be done.” DON’T DO THAT! This is the year we do better, remember? To avoid this burnout, you should take breaks in between. A great way to do this is using the Pomodoro Technique. In a nutshell, the Pomodoro Technique breaks down work in smaller intervals of time with breaks in between. Usually, you set a 25-minute timer to get work done and then take a 5-minute break. With this technique, you will be taking breaks throughout your study sessions and it will make the assignments a lot more digestible. If you feel like 25 minutes is too little to get any work done you can adjust the timer to fit your style.
6. Schedule downtime as a reward
If you meet your goals, reward yourself! Grab some snacks, and binge-watch some shows on Netflix. After meeting your goals for the day, schedule some downtime. Having a good balance helps you recharge and reenergize for the next day’s tasks. Sometimes all you need is a good relaxing evening to be ready to get some serious work done the next day. It is important to set aside some downtime to catch up on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or whatever social media platform you prefer. Allow yourself this time and don’t feel guilty about it.
7. Assign/designate certain days for homework and schoolwork
Usually, some days you have more time than others, and those are the days you want to get the most work done. If you know what days work for you, assign them as your “homework days.” Having one or two designated days to focus on homework will grant you more time on your busy days. If you can’t designate a day then set a time block on multiple days where you have a couple of free hours. The key is consistency, set a regular schedule, and stick to it.
Now you have seven ways to stop yourself from procrastinating. It is important to manage your time wisely and keep yourself sane. By implementing these things in your day-to-day life, you will see a positive change and boost in productivity. Remember this is the year you will stop procrastinating and get a grip on your life. What tips will you be implementing to stop yourself from procrastinating?
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