Ah, procrastination… it’s probably been a student weakness for as long as students and schools have been around! After all, what’s just one more television show before you start studying? What’s another 30 minutes on Twitter? Or one more game on your cell phone? You can always come up with a list of reasons why you can’t get back to studying – or even start studying in the first place. Since procrastination most often leads to cramming, and we know that cramming can negatively affect your academics (link to cramming post), it’s important to keep yourself motivated to stay on track even despite outside distractions. Try our tips to avoid procrastination below:
Make a daily to-do List
Stay organized with a daily to-do list and write out everything you need to accomplish for the day, including your studies. Check off each task as you get it done. You’ll be much more likely to get your study hours in if it’s the one lingering item that hasn’t been checked off yet.
Turn off your phone
When you’re studying at the library and trying to focus, you don’t need the diversions of text messages, apps, and games. Before you open your books, turn your phone off, and don’t turn it back on until you’ve finished with your study session. Keep track of time by using a stopwatch, not your phone.
Tell friends and family
Inform your friends and family about your educational goals and make sure they know you’re trying to study for an important exam. The people around you can help hold you accountable to your study schedule if they know you shouldn’t be out every night at parties or events.
It can be difficult to start studying if you plan your study time in five, six, or seven hour blocks. You can find all kinds of excuses to tell yourself you don’t have that kind of time. Break your studies up into small, manageable blocks of time to make things more surmountable.
Create rewards and consequences
You’ll be less likely to procrastinate if you come up with a fun reward for studying at the end of the day or week. Maybe a bowl of ice cream or extra time on the phone will motivate you to keep up with your study schedule. Likewise, if you don’t accomplish everything on your study plan, you might take away television or Internet time.
About the Author:
Catherine supports Magoosh’s future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.
1 – Photo at top courtesy of Flickr user Rachel Fisher under Creative Commons License 2.0.