3 Ways to Avoid Procrastination

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Person writing in a notebook with a tablet and coffee nearbyOnce you are focusing on your coursework, it can be great to lose yourself in your subject, enjoying the satisfaction that comes from learning new things and achieving a good grade for your work. And yet somehow, getting started can sometimes be a problem. We have probably all been there. We think we can start tomorrow for some good – or not so good – reason. We tell ourselves we shall have a better study session or write a better assignment if we leave it a day or two.

If this happens, procrastination can set in, big time. Tomorrow never comes, as we know. What are we waiting for? Guilt can result, and the association of guilt with the coursework can have even more negative effects on further study sessions. Here are the best ways to get your work done – and get it done right now.

Consider the positives of learning. 

It is helpful to remind yourself of why you started your course. Spending time at the outset identifying your reasons for learning will be useful later if you hit a lull in your motivation. Perhaps competence in this subject is a stepping stone to what you wish to do next, either in your career or your personal life. Or perhaps you have a great passion for a subject and wish to absorb good quality information about it. Even if you are required to learn by someone else, such as your work manager, there is probably some underlying reason why you are agreeing to do so. For example, you want to have a qualification and more choice in your future career. You may also have other more personal and positive aims, such as improving self confidence and engaging your brain in a useful way.

Write draft notes.

Many reasons for putting off things emerge from our perception that we could do it better at some future date when in a better frame of mind. This is no reason not to study. Perfection may not be immediate. Why not write up some notes, or jot a draft of your assignment. No one need see it except you. It does not need to be neat or well spelt. The points you make may be in the wrong order. Just read and enjoy your subject and write down some relevant notes. When you have completed your draft, you will find it easier to return to it with a fresh eye to make changes. The satisfaction that comes from writing up a rough draft can be great. The work is almost done.

What are your targets?

It is useful to set yourself targets. These targets need to answer specific questions like ‘By when…?’ and ‘At what level…?’ Remember to set reasonable goals, ones which are not too far ahead to see the progress you will be making in your coursework. During your learning journey, you can re-plan your targets, allowing them to take into account the various curved balls that life may give you. This is so much better than allowing yourself to drift along, resolving to get down to it ‘soon’. 

So – why not do some studying right now?

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