How to Avoid Procrastination

-Callie Gisler

Procrastination. One dangerous little word that college students know all too well. It comes in the form of Facebook, Twitter, television, cell phones, chatty roommates, nights out, and unexpected naps. But between midterms, group projects, and the end of a term looming, procrastinating on work can be deadly.

How can you beat the habit now and save yourself the trouble later? Here are just a few ideas to beat the procrastination bug:

Organize yourself. Staying organized can help you beat the temptation to slack off. Developing a personal fetish for calendars, to-do lists and sticky-notes can help you keep track of what you have to do.

Make a game plan for your work and stick to it! For larger projects, divide out tasks over several days to avoid cramming, sacrificing your sanity and the quality of your effort.

Technology can help you, believe it or not. Mac users, check out the Self Control App that is free to download on your computer. It allows you to block certain websites (Facebook and Twitter, for example) for a set amount of time so you can focus on your work. For PC users, Cold Turkey does the same thing.

Recruit your friend or roommate. Sometimes it’s easier to keep yourself accountable when you have someone else holding you to it, even if means asking a roommate you babysit you while you write an essay. Ask a friend to keep you away from Facebook and off your phone so you can keep working on the things that need to be done.

Or spend your work time with someone who inspires you to be productive. We all have that friend who can turn the outside world off and get things done. Take a lesson and join him or her for a study session.

Change locations. Sometimes it helps to mix up your study or work local. Leave the house and go check out that coffee shop around the corner. Or take a trip to the library – you know, that place you haven’t visited since freshman year.

Set aside a block of time during the day to get things done. Give yourself two hours in the evening after you get home from classes. Or set your alarm an hour early and work before you head out for the day. Once you have your time scheduled, sit down, turn off the cell phone, and focus on your work.

Follow Callie at @calliegisler

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