As a college student, it can be exhausting being in a position where you’re constantly learning new things. Distractions, such as hanging out with your friends, playing video games, partying, and virtually any other activity can seem better than performing schoolwork.
While the aim of a college education is to prepare you with the knowledge to pursue a job in your chosen career, having deadlines, for example, is supposed to help you become better about meeting deadlines as you will regularly need to do once working in your field. It can be tempting to procrastinate until the last minute until you know an assignment is coming due; however, this approach can be anxiety-inducing in that it leaves no room for error.
1. Devise a Plan
One of the best approaches you can employ when you receive an assignment is to thoroughly read over the instructions you were given and make a preliminary assessment of how long it might take to perform any necessary work. You may want to come up with a skeleton schedule, including milestones that you’re looking to reach by certain days or times, with the end goal being to have a finished project done on time.
2. Ask Questions
People often procrastinate when they realize that a task is quite complex. Situations that require thinking power can often be resolved with the creation of an outline. Sometimes, asking clarifying questions may resolve any uncertainties as well. One of the reasons to plan ahead is that it allows you to uncover potential questions that you need help in answering to ensure a more seamless completion of the task at hand.
3. Work in Breaks
Mental-taxing work can be tiring just like physical labor is. The best approach that you can use to minimize the chances of burnout (and thus procrastination) is to add breaks into your schedule. These breaks will allow for you to rest your eyes and mind, get blood circulating, have a meal, and otherwise recharge. You’re more likely to sit back down more focused once you’ve taken a short recess.
4. Stick to Your Plan
Discipline can be a challenging skill set to master. It’s an important one, though. Your employer will regularly assess your work ethic, which includes follow-through, once you start your career. Ensuring your plan is realistic is key to sticking to it. If you never work nonstop for hours and suddenly think you’re going to be able to do that, then this may be unrealistic and set you up for failure. Set realistic goals and they will be easier to keep.
5. Prioritize Your Work
Procrastination and a lack of prioritization often go together. Individuals often put their friends, recreational activities, or less important activities ahead of their more consequential tasks. You can benefit from reassessing your priorities anytime you receive a new assignment from your professors at Simpson University. If you’re on limited time and have to choose to dedicate more time to one project over another, then you may want to focus the bulk of your efforts on the one carrying the most weight.
6. Reduce Your Distractions
The company you keep is important. You may want to find a way to lock away your phone or game system if you find them to be a rabbit hole in terms of constantly distracting you from what you should be doing. You should employ an approach whereby you separate yourself from others bound to drag you down, causing you not to stick to the schedule.
7. Reward Yourself for Achieving Goals
You’re your biggest cheerleader. Celebrate achieving or exceeding milestones that you’ve set. You may reward yourself with using your phone or spending some time with your friends. Just remember not to allow things to spiral out of control and shift your priorities too much. Make sure that you’ll easily be able to get back on task with your schedule after celebrating your accomplishments.
8. Remember Accountability Is Key
We are all ultimately responsible for our actions and inactions. While our professors and employers may judge us, that only happens for a short time while we’re in their class or working for them. We all have goals we want to achieve in both our professional and personal lives. It’s our job to hit the milestones we’ve set necessary to achieve those. Holding yourself accountable for doing (or choosing not to) certain things will determine how well our futures stack up to what we envisioned our lives being like.
College can give you both the academic and life skills necessary to thrive in the real world. Procrastination can hold you back, though. Employ the strategies above and you’ll be well on your way to living the life of your dreams.