Monday, 12 May 2014

How To Beat Procrastination!

With deadline season truly looming I thought I'd stick with yet another post to help out!

As we all know, procrastination is the demon that turns even the best laid plans into a day wasted in your pyjamas binge watching Game Of Thrones, watching all the Lord Of The Rings in one sitting and having a room so clean you have to re-dirty it in order to hide the fact that you spent your entire afternoon sorting your socks by cotton content! Whatever you do to procrastinate, I'm sure you'll be aware of the effect it can have on your exams and assignments.

So what can you do? Well it turns out that you can actually do a lot! It just takes some organisation and self discipline. 

Make A Timetable and Stick To It!

So this seems obvious, but the amount of people who say they're going to work 9am-5pm but actually end up working closer to 9pm-5am! Not only does working at these hours hurt your revision at the time, but it will also make it harder to remember what little you did manage to actually revise! This is because we remember things better in the same context as when it was learned. 

Take Regular Breaks

This entirely depends on your staying power, but generally 10 minutes off for every 30 minutes on seems to work as a general rule of thumb. Now it's important to fully switch off when you take a break, this allows your brain to process what you've been doing and also allows you to go back to work actually refreshed and ready to go again! try and The Quiet Place Project, particularly this page.

Actually Do Work When You're Not On A Break!

As you all know, this is actually much harder to do than it sounds. If you can, turn all of your electronics completely off, that way you avoid the biggest time killer of them all, the internet- where 1000s of hours are spent staring at animals wearing clothes, babies laughing and completing countless quizzes to find out which celebrity you're the most like or what your favourite colour can tell you about your future (pro-tip, it can't tell you anything!) 

For most of us, completely unplugging is not a viable option, thankfully there are ways to stay away from those distracting websites and keep focussed on that research! Services like Cold Turkey and Focal Filter allow you to block distracting websites and programs in order to stay focused. There's also Rescue Time which keeps track of your activity to show you just how (un)productive you're being and what your worst offences are when it comes to procrastination!

Keep Your Work Varied To Prevent Burning Out

Most people work by sticking with one thing and trying to burn through it in one sitting, this is not the right way of going about it. If you stick at the same repetitive and boring task, you'll stop focussing and be more likely to go off task. Try to not only mix up the actual topic or part of the project you're working on, but also how you're going about it. Try reading then writing and then reading aloud, draw diagrams and flow charts, try to come up with crazy stories to help you remember the facts. All of these will help you individually, but you'll have much more staying power if you try them out together. 


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