We all know the feeling: opening up a laptop, with all the best intentions of getting some work done, before trawling through every single social media account you own, checking the time, and realising you’ve spent hours doing nothing…
It’s hard to fight long-held habits, but the best thing to do is to start a new habit - a habit of not procrastinating. Here are a few basic tips if you are determined to combat this side of yourself:
- Limit social media. This is definitely easier said than done, but you can do many things to force yourself to follow this step. If you want to be extra strict on yourself, you could log out of Facebook/other accounts and get a trusted friend/family member to change the password for a predetermined amount of time. Also consider deleting apps from your phone or simply turning off app notifications, which doesn't require you to log out completely. You could also create a pre-decided time each day (an hour or two) in which you can use social media, just to ensure that it doesn't creep into the rest of your life.
- Reward yourself for study. One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because we simply cannot convince ourselves that it is worth it. Set reasonable rewards which encourage you to actually do work (e.g. convince yourself not to watch that 10 minute YouTube video until you do 50 minutes of study; don't eat that chocolate bar until you've attempted one practice exam… the possibilities are endless).
- Find a study space where you aren't interrupted. If you tend to, for example, study in your room, or with your friends, you may have set up inefficient study habits, where your brain does not associate the place you are in with study. Find somewhere you do nothing except study. This might be a specific desk in your house, or a library or school library - any place you can find where you do nothing but study, so your mind recognises this whenever you enter this place.
All it takes is determination to overcome long-held procrastination habits – now is not too late!
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