Being a current university student in my final year has created an extremely stressful time. With a dissertation to submit to, three more assignments and, a job to work within the holiday breaks it can be extremely doable for some and I envy it so much. For myself (and I know a lot of other people do too), I have a lot of days where I just procrastinate and put off doing by doing absolutely nothing.
This will come in the form of anything! Sometimes I clean to say "I did something today" and other times it's binging a whole Netflix show. I can say that’s an accomplishment, but I feel like it doesn’t have the same satisfaction.
When every type of procrastination is done as well as I can do it and deadlines are slowly approaching, I stress even worse and bully myself for putting it all off to the latest moment. I know that if I just worked at it little by little, I would feel so much better. Even with that knowledge it still doesn’t stop me from leaving lingering assignments and I can feel the level of anxiety inside about to boil over and explode.
So, what can be done about this? With all the work you have to do, you deserve breaks but when you have procrastinated in the past it’s hard to know the difference. Here’s a list of procrastination tips from mindtools.com that I have found useful and some I have added in myself.
Make a list - Lists are not only organised and make you feel like you have your life together but also give immense satisfaction when you get to tick them off! I find it helpful to put nicer tasks like watching a tv show or calling someone to not only break the day up but to make your list look less overwhelming.
Reward yourself - Whatever it is you need to do as a goal, make sure you let yourself have a reward to get through other tasks and congratulate yourself. You deserve it!
Minimize Distractions - As hard as this is with social media and just the overall presence of a phone, it’s important to clear distractions out of view to stay focused and on task.
Record and Plan Deadlines - You may find it helpful to buy a calendar and write down your deadlines to work towards. This will help you work backwards and see how much time you have. It is also a daily reminder of what you have for the future, so you don’t overload yourself. However, you benefit from the calendar’s layout is completely up to you too, whether it's designed, big, small or even just a write out of dates on your wall, it all helps.
Manage your time - This can mean so many things when it comes to tasks and planning. There is managing time of deadlines etc. but what I find most helpful to do is set timers, so I work for so long and then have a rest. This can be time where you reward yourself with something or just relax but the main thing to do is start working again!
These are only a small number of things you can do to help yourself when procrastinating. There are countless ways you can try and you will find what suits you best. Understandably, the anxiety from procrastinating can go much further than this to other mental illnesses and it may be even harder to try some of these things but trying is so much better than nothing!
At the end of the day, everyone is human, and we all are guilty of leaving work and tasks, but it’s important to help yourself as you will gain the most from it all.