Most students (myself included) frequently fall victim to procrastination, especially at this time of year. We’ve lost that back-to-school motivation from September, but winter break is still some ways away. But we all need to get rid of this harmful habit ASAP because now is the time to hit the books! To the seniors reading: this is the last stretch. Work hard and make it count. In just a few months, we’ll be free.
The thought of hours upon hours of homework is terrifying. Make the task slightly more palatable by working in 45-minute sessions and rewarding yourself with a break and/or treat afterwards. Watch a YouTube video or eat your favorite snack. You’ll have something to look forward to while you’re working. But keep in mind that 10-minute breaks can quickly turn into hours of wasted time, so set a timer to remind yourself to stay focused. Before you know it, your towering pile of homework will be completed.
Get someone to nag you.
This can be the most obnoxious, but also the most effective technique when your procrastination is getting out of hand. If you don’t have a lot of self-control, have a parent, sibling, or friend continually remind you that you need to start your work. If nothing else, you might become so annoyed that you start working just to shut them up.
Does your procrastination mainly consist of browsing websites you shouldn’t, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr? If so, download SelfControl, a free app that allows you to block your own access to any site for a set period of time. Poof! Distractions gone. Also, make sure to set your phone to “Airplane Mode” so you aren’t sidetracked by Instagram notifications or texts from friends. Of course, you can always simply power off your phone and your laptop and hide them away. But for many of us who have an unnatural attachment to our technology, this idea is unthinkable.
Work with someone else.
Working with a friend can really help you stay on task. You probably won’t be tempted to take too many breaks if someone else is watching you. Teaming up will also lead to better understanding because you can answer each other’s questions about the material. But make sure you pick your homework buddy wisely. Choose someone more focused than you, rather than someone who often gets distracted.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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