Are you adept at putting off until tomorrow what you should have done today?
Procrastination poses a real danger for your studies. Ask yourself the following questions and follow our tips for a more productive attitude.
What excuses do I use to push things off until later?
- Take the time to list the things you tell yourself most often, like “I’ll feel better tomorrow,” “These exercises are useless,” or “I’ve got more important things to do.” You may be surprised at how creative you’ve been! Putting your excuses down on paper can be eye-opening. It can also help you spot the times when you enter into procrastination mode. Challenge your excuses and you’ll find that they usually don’t hold water.
What are the negative thoughts that lead me to procrastinate?
- Maybe you’ve already seen that negative thoughts can have a direct effect on how you behave. We often (subconsciously) create the outcomes we imagine. That’s why it’s very important to be careful with the things we tell ourselves.
- Perhaps you think that your classes are too difficult? That you’ll never be able to pass? The fear of failure can be a big reason behind procrastination. Stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and visualize yourself succeeding in your degree.
What do I stand to gain by getting to work now instead of later?
- Here are a few ideas:
- You’ll feel less guilty if you study regularly
- You’ll feel less stressed at exam time
- You’ll be better able to relax when you’re out with your friends
- By getting into the habit of studying regularly, you won’t face a mountain of work at the end of the semester
We suggest you come up with your own ideas as well, list them on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you can see it often.
When you find yourself entering procrastination mode and tempted to do something else when you should be studying, think about all the things on your list. That’ll help motivate you to get down to work. After all, saying no to doing one thing means saying yes to doing something else. Saying no to a night out with your friends may be hard, but it means saying yes to passing your exams stress-free.