There have been studies after studies and talks after talks about procrastination and the science behind it but at the end of the day – who really cares. We’ve talked about it before but procrastination could be caused by the sun or little green men for all it really matters.
What’s important is how you can stop procrastinating and start studying instead.
I know all too well what it’s like to find yourself binge-watching Netflix rather than doing something more useful and productive. It doesn’t even have to be anything good on.
But it really doesn’t have to be that way. And if you can make it until the end of this guide on busting procrastination I have a special treat for you that’ll make your studying even more effective. So give me just a few minutes, alright?
Does this sound familiar?
Well, you’re not alone. And not everyone is going to have the same answer to procrastination (as with a lot of things in studying some experimentation is required to see what works for you – our standard ‘some assembly required’ disclaimer). But here are some great suggestions you can try to start with.
1. Set goals for yourself
‘Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you’
If you don’t believe having goals can motivate you, start believing it now. It is an extremely powerful motivational technique. Set. Oh wait, there is a condition — you need to .
Tips to set goals:
- Write your goals and hang it in front of you
- Separate complex goals from simple goals
- Avoid vague goals.
2. Reward yourself on achieving the goals:
‘The expert in anything was once a beginner’
You have to start somewhere. Without starting, you cannot reach anywhere. And when you reach, don’t forget to reward yourself. This is anotherand used by the students. Let’s take a look at how the equation works:
High effort + accomplishment = Positive emotions (motivation)
Tips to reward yourself:
- Decide appropriate reward while setting a goal
- Ambitious challenges require outstanding rewards
- Do not reward yourself if you fail.
3. Just do it and start today
‘A year from now, you will wish you had started today’
Do you feel that watching television, hanging out with friends and playing video games are more enjoyable than studying? You can feel it today, but down the years, you will regret it. So, apply a simple trick and get rid of your dilemma. ‘Start studying’. Do you think it is stupid? No it is the best way, no matter how uninterested you are. Get started with studying.
Tips to start studying today:
- Literally, force yourself to do 15-20 minutes study
- The more you focus on your task, the faster you will get to the finishing line
- Imagine unwanted consequences of procrastination
- If you are feeling tired, take a shower or jump on a spot.
4. Take one step at a time and finish it
‘It always seems impossible until it is done’
Don’t let procrastination consume you; instead constantly keep up with your tasks in college and university on a daily basis. No, we are not saying that you have to study for hours, take one step at a time that helps you to grasp subsequent content and to stay ahead with your tasks. – Source
There are also external factors which are too often overlooked when it comes to procrastination and effective studying in general.
Eat healthy & exercise
Alright, this tip is as old as time – avoiding sugary drinks and junk food can significantly boost your performance as your blood sugar levels won’t jump like crazy. Go for fish, nuts, whole grains and berries. And no, that flapjack from a library vending machine isn’t the best option – it has more sugar than a Snickers bar!
Coffee is Great
Don’t get me wrong. I chose my apartment building based on the proximity to good coffee. Not even joking.
But, while coffee is great – sleep is even better. Studying shows that a short nap is more effective than several shots of coffee and a full nights sleep is absolutely required to improve your learning ability and retention. Not to mention that sugary coffee (guilty as well) comes with an even harder crash than caffiene alone. Not ideal for a study session.
Now, I did promise you a reward if you managed to at least not procrastinate long enough to read this. So how about something which is going to make your studying so much easier?
What you get done is far more important than how long you study for. If you’re efficient with your studying techniques you can get more done in 2 hours than in 20. So before anything else take an hour or two to improve your studying ability and you’ll avoid wasting a lot of time. Better studying results in less work? Too good to pass up.
One of the easiest ways to do this is brushing up on your memory and improving your ability to learn faster. You know who’s a master at this kind of thing? Chess players. I’m not suggesting you go and learn chess at the level of a grandmaster (unless you have a spare decade) but, luckily, a grandmaster has an audiobook ‘Unlimited Memory’ — which you can download for free with Amazon’s Audible.
It’s about 2.5 hours long but, since it’s an audiobook, you can listen when you go to bed or something. I guarantee it’ll change the way you study and even if you cancel Amazon lets you keep the entire audiobook. You can download it here.