At one point or another, we have watched yet another episode of our favorite show on Netflix or spent extra time scrolling through our phone instead of studying for an exam. We’ve all been there. However, we know that the habit of procrastinating actually does more harm than good. So how do we stop procrastinating and start to become more productive? In this blog post, I am sharing with you five tips (see Bailey et al., 2019).

Students

1. Work within your resistance level. In other words, break down the task into manageable components. If you simply cannot imagine yourself reviewing a chapter for three hours, can you do it for an hour? Or even forty-five minutes? If you work on the task consistently, in a few days you will for sure have the task completed!

2. Do something—no matter how small—to get started. Getting started is tough. However, once you get started, you will realize that it isn’t as horrible as you initially thought. You will then more likely to continue and complete the work.

3. Disconnect from the digital world. Let’s be honest. Most of us are, at the very least, slightly addicted to our phones/laptops/TVs. But once we decide to start a task, these devices offer nothing but distractions. As such, you should put away these devices so that you can focus on the task at hand.

4. Set Clear Goals. Write down your goals. Start making a daily to-do list so that you know exactly what needs your attention. The less time you spend wondering about what you need to do, the more time you will have in completing your tasks. Some people prefer starting their day off by making a to-do list, but others prefer to set aside certain times during the day (e.g., after classes) to plan out the “whats” and “whens”. Remember, it is actually okay to make slight changes to your plans every once in a while.

5. Pomodoro Technique. This is a technique I came across at the start of my college journey. According to this technique, you will spend 25 minutes working a task, and then you will give yourself a 5-minute break. You will then repeat the process, and for every four cycles, you reward yourself with a longer break. You can adjust the timing as well as the cycles as necessary to fit your preferences.

Overall, there are a lot of ways to break our habit of procrastination. Trust me, although it doesn’t always start out easy, it’ll get more manageable over time! Remember: thinking about doing something, is not the same as doing something. I hope these five tips work for you!

By: Amina Antar ('23 Psychology)