Written by Suzanne Graham
With school now in session, for the most part, some people may be trying to adjust their study styles to the amount of workload they are receiving. There are different kinds of students that exist, but the most popular are probably the people who study all day, every day, and the students who do the bare minimum. If you are like me, a pro procrastinator at heart, trying to break my mold to increase my productivity, then this post is for you. I have gone through many study tips trying to find what works for me. Now I have come before you and am offering three important tips I have learned.
1. You don’t need to force yourself into a fixed routine
Yes, having a fixed routine helps. Sometimes, however, it is not possible. Instead, know your habits and environment. When you know your habits and environment well, you can find ways to combat them. For example, in my household it’s always spontaneous, I never know what is going to happen next. Therefore, I am unable to set aside time for specific tasks regularly. This also plays into my procrastination since when I have time to do what I need to do, I would rather take a break and watch some Netflix. What I recommend instead of a fixed routine is to have a checklist of all the tasks you need to complete within a weekly time frame then break it down from there. That way you’re always conscious of what needs to be done, but you can also take it at your own pace. Having a reward system for yourself as you check-off those tasks is also really motivating and effective.
2. They say distractions are your worse enemy, sometimes it’s your best friend
Getting rid of your phone is not necessary unless you just can’t focus on your work at all. Sometimes the thoughts are not formulating themselves no matter how hard you think. Taking a quick scroll on social media or answering a text can be just the thing to clear your mind. When you look back at what you were working on, most times it becomes clearer on what the answers are. It shouldn’t talk longer than a couple of minutes, however. If you scroll for longer, that’s when the productivity flow decreases.
3. You don’t have to do that big task in front of you first
The way how that huge task just looms over you can feel both intimidating and terrifying. Or sometimes you just can’t get yourself in the mood to complete it. Unless you decide to get courageous and set out to conquer the task, you’re more than likely going to procrastinate it. Here is where I say, don’t go and watch TV for the rest of the day. Instead, try to do some of the other tasks that you had been putting off that doesn’t look as terrifying anymore. When you put off work to do work, you’re still being productive and that’s going to reflect off of you. There is also a high chance that once you complete those, you’ll be able motivated to tackle some of the bigger tasks as well.
Another tip that I came across once that has always helped me get through the intimidating work is to set a timer for 15 minutes. Within those 15 minutes, focus solely on the task at hand. Sometimes we just need to get the action rolling, which 15 minutes are ample time for you to do so. If you cannot focus at all during that time, then that simply means that you’re tired. When you’re tired, it’s okay to set the task aside and get some much-needed rest.
Society always puts down procrastinators and it is time that the mindset changes. We all work at our own pace in our own way. What matters is the quality of work you are doing. Always aim to put your best foot forward. I would love to see in the comments which study systems have helped increase your workflow!