Despite the best of intentions, procrastination can take over a SWOT Vac. Suddenly all the time set aside for revision has dwindled away.
So what are the best ways to migrate from the nation of the Procrasti (as the QUT Student Share house blog brilliantly describes it) and get back to being productive?
Here are a few of our favourite procrastination killers from the web (some tried and tested, others we haven’t quite got around to yet…)
- Although initially hesitant when I read about The Pomodoro technique on The Thesis Whisperer, I’ve found that dividing time up into 25 minute sections, with a mandatory 5 minute break, is perfect for concentrating on study. It’s simple to implement and really forces you to focus. All you need is a kitchen timer, pen and paper, and some tasks to complete.
- Now is not the time to learn to knit (or keep a clear idea of your priorities). There are some assignments to which anything seems preferable (including cleaning the oven/bedroom/pantry/wardrobe). This is where having a plan or a list of achievable goals can make it easier to stop putting things off. To-do apps like teux deux or Remember the Milk are really useful for this too.
- Break bad habits. Identifying what triggers distractions can limit procrastination. Trial a Facebook and Twitter free zone. Turn off email notifications. Change the environment where you study. For example, try treating revision like a job; take advantage of a quiet spot in the library for a shift, and then go home and relax.
QUT Counselling also provides support if procrastination is becoming increasingly problematic. You can download their procrastination factsheet or find out about their services on the QUT Counselling website.
While procrastination can be a difficult habit to kick, there are a lot of suggestions and tips you can try to limit its effect on your study. Let us know what has worked for you. What would you recommend to others?