How To Avoid Procrastination While Studying

Saturday, March 06, 2021

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At the moment, students have the issue of studying from home, learning online and dealing with stress without support. It can be overwhelming as adapting to a forever changing environment can be frustrating. Stress and frustration can lead us to procrastination, meaning those assignments become overdue quickly. Unfortunately, deadlines don't stop, despite the pandemic! If you want those top grades, here are some helpful tips, so you can stop procrastinating while studying!


Why Students Tend To Procrastinate



Everyone procrastinates. I don't believe that there is a single person who won't procrastinate on something. There are many reasons why people procrastinate. Some people procrastinate to avoid doing a task that's overwhelming to them. For example, if it's a big project, it may seem like too big of a job to tackle. Other people procrastinate because they don't know what they're doing. Personally, this is the reason I procrastinate. I will put off doing something if I don't completely understand what each thing means. You may also find procrastination is an effect of mental health. If you want to find out more about why you procrastinate, burnout and how to avoid it, I'd highly recommend the Perfect Productivity guide!


Why Procrastination Is Bad



Procrastinating is something people do to avoid another job. You could be watching a TV show or paint your bedroom like I've been doing this week. Either way, you're not studying. Procrastination isn't productive, and there are some negatives to it. Here are some reasons why you should try to stop procrastinating when it comes to your study:

  • It can hinder your academic performance as you put off revision and other tasks
  • It can increase stress and pressure as you reach close deadlines
  • Your work's quality will often be poor as you tend to rush things that are due the next day
  • You may find an increase in anxiety, especially if you didn't finish the task or revision 
  • Your workload builds up, which can cause further stress and fatigue

 

Why Procrastination Can Be Good



While it's not beneficial, procrastination can be a good thing, so don't worry if you occasionally put off something. Don't feel bad if you procrastinate on some tasks as it's normal. We can't be productive all the time, so don't pressure yourself. While it's not beneficial to mental health, it can help you in some ways. Procrastination can help you to reach tight deadlines and teaches you how to work under pressure. It allows your mind to process the task and come up with new ways to tackle things. You may find some of your better ideas come later on after you've had a chance to think about them. You will also learn how to prioritise tasks, something that's important in working life! Try not to make a habit of procrastination, but don't feel bad if you need a break! 


Change Your Working Environment

The first step to avoiding procrastination is to find a place where you can feel comfortable but won't easily distract you. That means somewhere away from electronics, games and other things you want to do. I love studying in the library or a coffee shop because there wasn't much else I could do. I also find I have to leave my planner in another room. If I don't, I start thinking about 100 other jobs I need to do. Create a simple space that helps you feel calm and concentrated. You may want to avoid sitting on your bed, as then you associate your bed with work, and it won't be as relaxing later on. Sitting on a comfy chair with a sturdy working area is the perfect place for studying. It helps if you have some music on, but avoid TV shows! I personally like to listen to Spanish or songs with less singing.

Don't Let Your Work Pile-Up

It's so easy to add another assignment to an already overfilling to-do list. Every time you get an assignment, make a note of it for your personal records. That way, if you do let it slip by, you have a reminder. But, you should do the work soon after you receive it. I know there are times where you'll do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes, and you don't meet your deadlines! To avoid procrastination, worth through your assignments when you first get them. If you had one task to do, you might quickly finish it off and be done with it. If you had 10 tasks to do, you dread your afternoon and waste it on games and Netflix. It's easier to do something as it comes in then rush them all because they're due in the morning. 


Keep Your Notifications Off!

When you're studying, you do not need to know who hit like to your Instagram post! It's easy to pay attention to my phone every time my phone popped up a notification because who doesn't like to be in the loop! Whether it is Twitter or Instagram, you can suddenly distract yourself and spend hours scrolling through memes! Who knows, maybe you'll end up on all of the social media apps! Turn off your notifications, or put your phone on silent when you're studying. If you're worried about missing something important, change the ring tone of that contact so that you know when to pick it up. Netflix has a documentary called Social Dilemma, which I highly recommend watching after you finish studying! It addresses the problem with social media addiction thanks to the notifications we receive!

If you still can't keep away from your phone, there are a few other things you can do before you study. You can put your phone in another room or hand it to a trusted loved one for a while. There are also apps for your phone which can lock your phone temporarily. If you don't want to lock your phone, I prefer the tree app, which allows you to grow a virtual plant for every hour your phone isn't used!

Clean Your Work Space

It's hard to concentrate if your area is disorganised and things are laying about everywhere. When you finish working or stop to take a break, clean your studying area! Put your papers in order, put pens back into the tub and throw away any scraps. You should also remove coffee cups and empty plates! Keep your space as clean as possible so that you don't feel distracted or overwhelmed by the mess. When my desk is messy, I have to clean it, which cuts into my study time. You should also deep clean your space every week or so. Wipe down the surfaces, open a window, and you could even add a little bit of décor! You should also take this time to sort through your assignments and make a plan. You don't want to be missing anything!

Make Time For The Tricky Topics

It's easy to avoid certain subjects because you don't understand what you're being asked. Spending time working yourself up over something leads to procrastination. You also rarely get the job done on time, or it's rushed to squeeze it into the deadline. If you're struggling with something, there are a few key things you need to do to avoid procrastinating:

  • Look at the task when you first receive it. If you don't understand it when you first get it, you won't understand it a week later. It's better to identify the issue now than when it's too late.
  • Ask for your teacher's help. Your teacher is there to help you and explain things. Maybe stick around after a stressful lecture and ask for help. If you don't like asking in person, send them an email. That way, you have the evidence if they did not respond.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help. Maybe the way they explain it to you will make better sense! A different perspective can be very eye-opening.
  • Use online forums, or watch videos on YouTube. I taught myself maths because I didn't understand the way my teacher would explain things.
  • Make time for the tasks you dread. Set aside a good hour to work on the things you don't understand. It gives you a chance to learn it, research and ask people!
  • Don't leave it until the last minute. I know you really don't want to write that essay, but if you don't do it now, you'll be writing it at 11pm, hours before the deadline! 

Create A Schedule

I love planning. It has become one of the most practical things I have ever started to do. Whether you bullet journal or just write in your notes, create a schedule! Creating a cute schedule will help you to keep organised with your free-time and deadlines. You'll be able to keep track of assignments, exams and add in that all-important free-time. Scheduling your time will help you to stop procrastinating as you stick to the time slots given. If you study for a solid 2 hours knowing the rest of the day is yours, then you're more likely to embrace it. Pencil in study time, and remind yourself that those hours are all you have to do for the week. It may be relieving for some to see it written down and marked out, rather than just being told to study for 14 hours this week. 

Take A Day Off To Recharge

Did you know that resting can be just as productive as studying? Taking the time to relax can help you to be more productive the following day. No one can be productive 24 hours a day, so embrace your free time. I like to rest on Sundays, so I can start Monday with a positive, refreshed mindset. Taking the day off when you're studying helps you to remember the information too! It's better to revise for a day and take a break before your next revision session. It requires your long term memory to work, rather than the short term. Having a break can also reduce stress levels, allow you to work on other projects and have a decent social life. While studying is important for school, so it resting. Plus, how well are you going to concentrate if all you want to do is sleep or see your friends? 


Everyone is different when it comes to studying. Sometimes, listening to music can distract more than it can motivate. I hope these tips help you to study harder and get the grades you want. Remember to take breaks and put in the time! What ways do you have to avoid procrastination? I'd love to hear how you manage to get in a good study session without doing 100 other tasks! 


About the guest writer:

This blog post was written by the lovely Michelle from Broke But Flawless! An art student form EAPD, Michelle started her blog to share her passion for beauty on a budget, If you love beauty, fashion and money related content, make sure you check out her blog! You can also find her skating around on her Instagram page!


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17 comments

  1. I constantly put things off, especially when I find them difficult or don't quite understand what I'm meant to do. I'm trying to break the habit now so I can work better and faster

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  2. Brilliant tips! I think procrastination is something we all do but these are some great ways to work yourself out of that mindset and into a productive one x

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  3. Remembering to take time off to move away from your computer/study space is really important! Sometimes I just get up, walk around the flat and have a bit of a dance or something to the radio! It really helps

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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  4. This is such a handy post. I think taking time off can be equally beneficial to studying. Last term I was spending everyday working as I had so much to do so felt like I was burning out. I then started to take a day or 2 off and found I got so much more done in the days I did work as I wasn't so overwhelmed and felt motivated to study and not get distracted!

    Tash - A Girl with a View

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  5. These are all great tips! I used to be so bad in school and always doing things last minute! i got better but still could get better! Making time for tricky topics and scheduling have helped a lot! Thanks for sharing x

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  6. Ugh I remember the all day long study sessions where I’d just stare in the distance without any focus. This post would’ve been great and still is with work I think! Thanks for sharing 😁

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  7. Totally agree with turning notifications off! It was a massive help to me, I wasn't constantly looking at my phone when it lit up. I often procrastinate because I want to do it perfectly and am not feeling in the 'perfect mindset'. It is so annoying and much better to just start. Great post :) xx

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  8. As someone who is in full time work and now working from home, this is so so relevant!
    Definitely bookmarking this to come back to

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  9. Having notifications off is my sure fire way to stop procrastination! Also, I like to leave my phone in another room so that I can't just pick it up and scroll through. Some great tips in this post, thank you!

    Rosie

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  10. I do so much procrastination but I’m deffo going to begin laying things out more! Lovely blog post! - pagesofthemoone.com

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  11. This is such a great post and so relatable! I still try to do every thing everyday, which has been very detrimental mostly in the last few months, so taking time off was so needed! Thanks for sharing x

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  12. Wonderful and super helpful tips!! I am currently procrastinating, lol. I feel like I need a day off today, so I don't stress about it too much.

    What helps me is to not pressure myself into doing tasks because I tend to just give up overall then. I listen to my mind and body and roughly schedule what I want to achieve in a specific time. I try not to be too rigid about it, though.

    Thanks for your tips!!

    xxxx Aga

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  13. I'm terrible at procrastinating and allowing for the work to pile up around me and getting distracted by notification too. So thank you for this post and these tips as I'm going to try and create a schedule to help fight the temptation of procrastination.

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  14. I'm not a student anymore but this post definitely applies to me and my freelance work at times. Sometimes when feeling unmotivated its so easy for me to switch over to twitter and scroll for hours rather than just getting into the work and getting it done. For me I think creating more of a schedule for myself would definitely be beneficial.

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  15. Creating a schedule was literally the only way I made it through university without heavy procrastination. These are some really great tips and tricks x

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  16. Awesome, insightful read! I love how you mentioned about how procrastination can be good in a certain context, to avoid burnout for example. I take a day or two to recharge as well or just engage with my blogger friends to not overstress myself. really helpful! Thank you for sharing!


    www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

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  17. I do procrastinate quite a bit and this is great advice! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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