It’s tempting to put assignments off until the last minute. We tell ourselves, “I still have plenty of time. What’s the rush?” and the next thing we know, the deadline is quickly approaching. Here are three simple methods I use to avoid the stress and chaos of procrastination.
Related: 6 Reasons to Avoid Procrastination
1. Schedule your time
Invest in a planner, calendar, or even an app on your phone or laptop that will help you know when assignments are due. In my planner I leave space to check off assignments as I finish them. This way I feel more productive with my time and more motivated to complete assignments. You can be even creative with your schedule. Perhaps you could use different colors for different classes, doodles that correspond with the assignment type, etc. The more personalized your agenda is, the more enjoyable it makes scheduling.
2. Give yourself incentives
Consider your other obligations and make it a priority to complete school work around them. For example, if you and some friends have plans for the entire weekend and a paper due Monday, try to complete the paper by Friday at the latest. This way you won’t even have to think about school work over the weekend and can instead focus on having fun with your friends.
Another idea is to make a deal with yourself. Instead of immediately doing the things you enjoy, earn the free time by completing assignments. Write your history paper, then you can binge-watch your favorite show. Complete your math homework, then check your social media. Although it’s difficult to focus on school work when all you want to do is put it aside, it’s so rewarding to get it done. Trust me: the TV, Internet, sports, etc. are much more enjoyable when you’re not feeling the pressure to finish your work afterward.
3. Set earlier deadlines
Last year my online dual-enrollment courses had a lot of flexibility. Initial discussion posts were due by Thursday, and everything else for the week was due Sunday at midnight. As great as this flexibility seems, it gave me greater temptation to put things off until the end of the week. So I had to trick myself into getting things done earlier. I would do the majority of the week’s assignments on Monday and Tuesday. Then I would have Wednesday and Thursday to fall back on, if I wanted to procrastinate—and yet I’d still have the entire weekend free.
Of course, most classes aren’t that flexible with time, but the idea can still be applied. If you have a project due Friday, consider setting your deadline for Wednesday. By setting earlier deadlines, you can enjoy the feeling of procrastinating without actually suffering from last-minute work.
What tips do you have for avoiding procrastination? Feel free to comment below.