Beating procrastination at university

AFS Team·25 October 2016·5 min read
Beating procrastination at university

Procrastination is something we have all experienced at some point. Be it putting off doing an essay, delaying doing housework, or waiting until the very last minute to do something.

Procrastination can take many forms. Staring at Facebook, scrolling endlessly on Instagram, or writing copious lists never to actually do any of the tasks on them!

Follow these 20 top tips to beat procrastination and you will be well on the way to being a productive angel at uni.

1) Write a list of priorities, and start at the top! You could even get a mini whiteboard for your bedroom and make inspirational lists on there. As you go down your list, cross off each job. You could start with the little things, like taking out the trash. And then work up to essay planning and reading for your classes.

2) Play some motivational music to get you in the mood. This is a great one if your energy levels ever feel flat. Stick on a cheesy 90’s tune (or whatever era you fancy) and get jumping around. I particularly like this one by the New Radicals.

3) Wake up early. This is the best way to ensure productivity. You elongate the hours in the day, as well as waking up fresh and ready to work.

4) Drink plenty of water. Surprisingly, we don’t drink as much water as should. So throughout the day keep topping up your water glass and you will notice your energy and concentration levels soar.

5) Do exercise. The release of endorphins will instantly make you feel happier and more energetic. So that when you get back to work you will be far more productive than if you had stayed at home.

6) Tell someone what you plan to do. Tell a friend or a family member that you have a big assignment to do. Not only will they give you space to do it, but they may also check up on you.

7) Take your work to a coffee shop. This is a good way to get out of the house, as well as be in a nice environment to work in. Say to yourself ‘I will do two hours in here with a coffee and then go to my dance class’. Setting aside time is important and this is a great way to do that.

8) Meditate first. This reduces stress or anxiety.

9) Make a structured timetable of your available hours and add in tasks. And stick to it!

10) Plan some rewards for your hard work. This could be big things such as trips and outings with friends or as small as buying yourself a new item of clothing or a nice chocolate bar.

11) Stay with a family member or rent a cottage. This may be a more expensive option, but the idea is to take your work somewhere quiet and devote a few days to it.

12) Read an interesting article after an hour’s work. Reward yourself every hour. For example this article on The Guardian about women runners eating avocado as a secret to success.

13) Make a nice cup of coffee or tea. Simple but effective!

14) Remind yourself why you are doing this work. (Is it to get a good grade? Are you being paid? Do you enjoy the ideas? Is it to contribute better in class?)

15) Make your work environment comfortable.

16) Spend an evening at the library.

17) Work on your essay or piece of work straight after the lecture. That way, the information you have just absorbed can be applied directly to the piece of work you are doing. Your mind will be thinking about the topic already so you will already have a head start.

18) Start your essays early. This way, you will not have to feel like you are avoiding something. You will just work on them a tiny bit at a time, but regularly. This way, when it comes to handing them in, all you will need to do is make edits.

19) Ask a teacher for feedback.

20) Find a personal tutor or mentor.

See if you can think of any more methods to beat procrastination at uni. The above list is not exhaustive! After all, these methods do still take some motivation. If you attempt them with a positive mind-set you will certainly achieve productivity. And you never know, doing work for uni might become addictive!

By Emily James