7 Ways to Kill Procrastination and Unleash Your Potential
You know you’re smart because you have no problems understanding new scientific or mathematical concepts. However, you mostly submit assignments late and don’t prepare well enough for exams. You stack up books borrowed from the library but end up never reading any. In the end, you consistently fail to reach your full academic potential. The following tips can help you overcome procrastination.
Understand and Accept You Have a Procrastination Problem
You know you have a serious or chronic procrastination problem if you consistently postpone important activities for no acceptable excuses, even to yourself. If you’re a procrastinator, the present-you is never the ideal, ever-receding future-you. Thus, you promise to complete an assignment tomorrow but when the day finally comes, linking up with friends on Facebook becomes the better choice of activity. Understanding these conflicting states of mind can help you trick or compel yourself to accomplish important tasks in a timely fashion.
Break Down Assignments or Tasks
Breaking down a big assignment into smaller parts has two direct positive effects: it plays a psychological trick on you by making gigantic assignments seem doable and makes it easier to manage huge projects. This will prevent you from abandoning a project for lack of a concise approach, especially with a promise to complete it some other time. For instance, you could use an outline to break down a 30-page essay assignment into topics or sub topics and carry out independent research for each topic in due time. The same strategy can work with programming assignments, where you could break down a computer program into modules.
Set Practical Goals
If you set goals you can accomplish in your circumstances, it won’t be necessary to procrastinate. For instance, if you’re given three research papers to complete in three days, which day would you pick as a practical deadline? A procrastinator would most likely choose to do all the three papers in the third day. However, this would deny them sufficient research time for each paper with a possible impact on the overall score. On the other hand, a student who’s aware of their procrastination problem would aim for a paper per day. This would make it possible to submit quality work by the final deadline.
Are you the type of person that can stop reading to dance to a favorite song that’s just started to play on radio? If yes, it can help to turn off the radio when studying. Some people don’t resume important activities until very late, once they’ve been distracted and you can avoid this pitfall by studying within the confines of a quiet environment.
Involve Other People
You can beat procrastination with self-discipline, but if it fails, your classmates, siblings or friends can come on board to help. For instance, you could post your goals as your Facebook status. If you’re classmates on Facebook see that you’re going to be busy doing an assignment at a specified time, some are likely to remind you about it by replying to your post or contacting you about it. This way, you’ll benefit from external pressure to meet your own deadline or even receive a needed nudge in the right direction in case you get distracted.
Don’t Forget Motivation
One way to complete assignments in time is to set your eyes on the ultimate prize. The prize could be a range of things such as high scores, promotion to the next class and recognition. You could also reward yourself for meeting deadlines. For instance, you can complete an assignment by Friday, so that you can rave all night into the weekend that follows.
Get Tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
If you have trouble concentrating or doing one thing for a long time, this may be the reason why you procrastinate. You pick an interesting book to read but lose focus within minutes, put it aside and promise to read it later when in the right mood. If this kind of procrastination is accompanied by problems such as forgetfulness, poor organizational skills, and chronic lateness among others, you could have ADHD and should seek professional attention.
Killing procrastination will help you have sufficient time to study and excel academically.