The struggle is real and it happens to all of us grad students. It seems timely to write a post about our evil friend, procrastination. I know we don’t have much time here, as its #grindtime to final assignments, deadlines, and exams. So I am going to keep this short and sweet for now and perhaps I will dig a bit deeper into this issue next term.
Here are some quick and easy tips that help me tackle my procrastination:
Get real on your vices
What is your go-to activity when you procrastinate? Mine is YouTube. After admitting this, I realized that instead of watching these videos on my break, I need to watch them at the end of my day instead of a TV show. This ensures that it doesn’t take up too much of my time during my mini-breaks throughout the day or distract me from my main focus of the day.
Every 50 minutes I schedule a 10-minute break on a timer. This allows me to work for a set time with no distractions from my phone, e-mail or anything else. It helps if you actually turn off your phone or log out of your e-mails when you are just trying this technique for the first time. Some people may want to increase or decrease these times – try it out and see whats best for you.
Use the breaks productively
When you do have a break, use them productively. What do you need before you go onto your next hour of work? Maybe you have been sitting for a long time, so you need to get moving (I walk up and down the stairs in my apartment just to get my blood flowing). Or perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed and a 10-minute meditation will better serve you. Whatever your break is, use it wisely and stay away from your vices.
I always start my day off by organizing and scheduling an hourly list of what my day will look like. This helps me achieve a larger goal for the day, as well as mini goals throughout the day. I find it is easier to start with the more difficult tasks first. Get them out of the way so they aren’t on your mind throughout your work.
If you are really struggling and having an off day – just start small. Maybe you are starting an assignment and keep putting it off. Start by creating a word document and the title page. Even this small achievement can help kickstart your motivation.
Face your fears
Tune in and listen to your body. If none of these things are working… you need to dig deeper… you are procrastinating for a reason, is it fear of failure or not being good enough? These are deep-rooted issues but as soon as you get real on what it is you are afraid of facing, it will be easier to manage.
I hope these tips to tackle your procrastination will help during finals. Remember that it’s important to get that beauty sleep, maintain exercise and healthy eating during this busy time – I know it’s not easy but make sure to schedule it in. We need to take care of ourselves!
What techniques help you with procrastination?
Until next time,
P.S Don’t forget to use #ScholarCulture #ScholarSquad #ScholarSunday to keep me updated on your experiences as grad students.
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