How To Adult | Stop Procrastinating (Eventually)

by Burny Lu (IT Intern)

Do you keep putting things off? Are you always telling yourself you’ll ‘do it tomorrow’? Is your To Do list a mile long because you never cross anything off? You might be a… procrastinator.

There are a million and one ways you can try to stop procrastinating, but we’ve put together a list of the ones we find most helpful so you can get that assignment in on time!

Sometimes procrastinating happens because the task itself is too overwhelming, below are some tips to help you feel more on top of your work:

  • Break your tasks into smaller chunks.
    For example, rather than trying to write your whole essay, tell yourself you’ll just finish the outline first. 
  • Tackle a task for 25 minutes only.
    This is called the ‘Pomodoro' or 'Tomato' method and can be great for those days you feel like you have too much to do. Set a timer for 25 minutes, work non-stop, give yourself a 5 minute break, then repeat.
  • Start your day with the hardest/easiest task.
    This one is different for everyone - some people find that working on the most difficult task first gives them a clear head for the rest of the day, others find that completing a simple task helps them get some momentum. Find what works for you!
  • Aim for ‘finished’ rather than ‘perfect’.
    You can always make changes once you’ve finished a draft, but trying to make something perfect on your first go can lead to more stress.
  • Promise yourself a reward.
    Tell yourself you can eat that donut, but only once you finish a set amount of work.

Other times, we have no issue with the work itself, but the environment is not helping. Here are some tips to get you into a better study (head)space:

  • Download Freedom.
    Available for Mac and Windows, Freedom reduces or eliminates distractions, making it easier for you to focus. It cuts off internet access during the times you specify, blocking your access to email, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other time-sucking, focus-vaporizing websites.
  • Utilise your peak time.
    Find the time of day that you are most productive, and schedule the most important or challenging tasks for this time.
  • Listen to the right music.
    This is another one that varies from person to person. If you need music to pump you up and keep you motivated, put that Hot Hits playlist on and get working. If you’re the kind of person that can’t help but sing along to your tunes, listen to music without lyrics. Spotify is a great help with this!
  • Put yourself in the right space.
    Guilty of chatting instead of studying? Shut yourself in a room by yourself and get your work done. If you’ve been sitting by yourself and procrastinating all morning, find a friend that’s also studying and will keep you honest.
  • Get moving.
    This one is such an oldie, but it works! Getting your body moving is a sure way to get your blood pumping and your brain firing.