It’s 9 p.m. and you realize you have a project due tomorrow, so you decide to pull an all-nighter.
You manage to finish and hand the project in on time, but you feel exhausted. Then, your teacher says, “Get ready. We will start the test in 5 minutes.” You forgot that there’s also a test today!
Many of us are guilty of procrastination. Some might even say they delay doing their work because they perform best under pressure. When we procrastinate, we risk missing a deadline and not getting a good mark. It is also VERY stressful. That said, here are some tips for procrastinators on how to get your work done ahead of time.
- Create a to-do list
Creating a list will help organize your work and ideas, while keeping you on track. Put the most daunting tasks that you’re likely to avoid on the top of your list. Keep it up to date by checking off completed tasks as you go along. This will keep you focused and orderly. Checking items off a list is also very satisfying.
Work when you’re feeling energetic
Chances are, you won’t be able to get a lot of work done when you’re tired. Finding a time of day when you feel energetic will get you into a more productive work/study mode.
Choose reliable study buddies
Working with study buddies will encourage you to complete the task at hand and ensure that you remain focused. Knowing that others are relying on you to finish your work encourages you to be accountable and reliable.
Divide the work into smaller parts
Procrastination is often a reaction to feeling overwhelmed. Dividing work into smaller parts will make it manageable. Instead of wasting time wondering where to start, approach your tasks a bit at a time. You will find your momentum and be more likely to finish.
Give yourself a deadline buffer
Advancing your deadlines on your personal calendar will not only help you finish the day before the actual due date, but will also give you the chance to double-check your work and make revisions as needed.
Bargain with yourself
Another strategy that might encourage you to stick to your work plan is to reward yourself after completing the task. Remind yourself that if you finish your work now, you can do something you enjoy later, like watching your favourite TV show.
Hopefully these tips will help you do away with the stressful, last-minute efforts of a procrastinator. If you make an honest effort and take the time to do your work well, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment compared to how you feel after doing it all in one night. Also, you’re more likely to achieve the ultimate goal – better grades.