We’ve all been at a moment in our lives where we ignore something important and decide to prioritise other things. Perfect examples of this are binge watching a new TV show, eating all of your snacks in one sitting, talking to your llama plushie without realising it’s been 3 hours — all when you have a listicle to write on how to avoid procrastination. So, without any further delay, here’s five ways to avoid procrastination.
1. Get rid of distractions and get organised
Clear away anything that will stop you from getting the task done. Too loud? Put on an instrumental soundtrack to get you in the zone whilst you sort out your planner. Sick of the sight of your bedroom? Coffee shops and libraries off campus are great alternative. Or maybe you’d focus better if you cleaned your bathroom you’ve been thinking about all day, it’s definitely a thing.
2. Set realistic goals
Oh, what’s that? You can revise a year’s worth of content tomorrow? Welp, tomorrow has turned into today and you have a week to make notes on hundreds of pages you don’t understand. So, try to space out your tasks. Split them into sections that you find manageable so it’s impossible to overload. Taking breaks in between completing things is also a great little way to reset.
3. Complete tough tasks first
Have you ever cooked the perfect meal and it brings a tear to your eye because you know Gordon Ramsey would be proud? That feeling of accomplishment is the best. The more tough stuff you get finished, the easier it becomes to achieve your own master chef status. Power through — when life gives you lemons, make the best Goddamn lemonade!
4. Time yourself
When you’re a student it becomes difficult to find a healthy balance between assignment overload and normal every day activities. Life is no race — unless you’ve been challenged to eat an entire cake on your birthday, which in that case, go ahead! Try setting a timer for 60 minutes to stop yourself from physical exhaustion and maybe take a nap when needed.
5. Work, reward, repeat
Once you’ve achieved your goal, reward yourself. Whether it’s with an episode of your current binge, a cupcake you’ve been eyeing up or even go to a fancy restaurant. It’s easier to pay attention to things when lives are at ‘steak’.
Written by Sabaah Ahmed, a first year English and Creative Writing student at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Artwork by Alice Kell.