Procrastination can be both a student’s best friend and worst enemy. You enjoy spending a whole night binge watching Family Guy or Keeping up with the Kardashians (sorry not sorry : ) ) but you regret it all the night before your assignment deadline when you’re on your third cup of coffee hoping the caffeine would provide you with the creativity and will power to finish that piece of coursework on time. I’ve been at university for almost 5 years now, trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
But what is procrastination? Most people define it as pure laziness but looking from a more scientific point of view (as we psychologists do), research has shown that procrastination is actually more complicated than that – it represents a voluntary delay of the completion of an important task, despite knowing the consequences this might have. According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, 20 percent of people are chronic procrastinators and by the looks of it I’m one of those lucky ones.
I don’t always feel bad about procrastinating though. My life moto has always been “Everything happens for a reason” so I try not to feel bad when I leave something for the very last minute. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to change my habits and stop myself from procrastinating.
Here are the top 3 things that usually make me, a chronic procrastinator, actually sit down and get things done.
Go to the library
The library is full with people who are there to study and as long as you don’t go to the coffee shop too often or see a friend and have a 30-minute chat about life, you can actually get things done there. You can’t watch a film, do the dishes, clean your room, try on your new clothes again, do your nails or pretend to be the new Jamie Oliver in the kitchen when you go to the library so your distractions there are lowered to a minimum.
Try out some cool apps
I recently downloaded an app called Tide which helps you stay focused. It tells you when it’s time to concentrate on your task and when to take a break and I honestly find it very helpful. There are a lot of similar apps you can download but I chose this particular one generally because it has a cool design and it’s free.
Go to the gym/ exercise
I know that going to the gym instead of doing your work is kind of procrastination by itself but I found that physical exercise helps me clear my mind and that the hype I feel after a good workout always makes me a lot more motivated to get things done. However, I genuinely enjoy going to the gym so part of what makes it such a positive experience for me is the fact that I enjoy spending time there. If that’s not your thing try doing some exercise at home or just do something you really enjoy for a couple of hours and then go back to your work.
I’m not saying that what I do to beat my procrastination works for everyone, sometimes it doesn’t even stop me from procrastinating but it’s always better to try than not to do anything, right?
I’d like to finish this blog post with one of my favourite TED talks. No one can describe what procrastination is better than this guy >>