How to Beat Procrastination

June 1, 2020
Kaz Bosali

Every student knows what they should do

By Kaz Bosali

“Just one more” is what you tell yourself as you click ‘next episode’ on Netflix knowing full well that that isn’t true, and you should start your work ASAP. Several hours later once you are sick of Netflix (yes, this actually can happen) and open ‘new document’ on Word, the task of opening a new page that took 10 seconds must now be rewarded with a half an hour binge session on YouTube!

Followed by feelings of guilt for the time you wasted so you stay up into the night to catch up. You fall back not only on your work but also on your sleep. That is the consequence of procrastination, every student’s guilty pleasure, bane and worst nightmare. It seems as though the more you postpone, the more life speeds by.

 There is a formula to limit the temptation to procrastinate – structure.

There are so many studies that have reported when people write down their goals and schedule them in, then they’re more likely to remain focused and achieve them.

How can you use this information as a student?

Work in segments

45 minutes is a good chunk of time to focus on a task at hand. Intend on achieving something such as analysing your research or planning your essay. You would be surprised how much you can accomplish in that amount of time with straight concentration and no distractions.  

Turn off your phone

You can literally scroll your life away on Instagram and TikTok. People are amazed at how long they’ve spent on their phone. Just receiving a notification hijacks your concentration and it’s difficult to get back into the flow of things. Switch it off, or better yet, don’t have it with you. 

Find a spot where you work

This could be the university library, your desk at home, your corner in your house. Whatever works for you where you know once you’re there, you are there to work. Your brain will associate that place with getting things done.

Procrastinating and then attempting to make up for the lost time compromises both the quality of your work and sleep.

Creating a structure not only helps you beat procrastination but looks after your mental health and stops you from burning out.

Have a structure to beat procrastination, complete your work ahead of the deadline and have enough time for that Netflix episode without feeling bad.

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