Few students are able to resist the temptation to procrastinate – it’s an integral part of university life! In this day and age, a student’s version of essay writing is to open an empty Word doc. on their laptop, whilst scrolling through Facebook every five minutes, Googling ‘write my essay for me’ and Tweeting regular updates about how they have done no work. If this sounds like you, don’t worry – we can help! Read on to discover five ways to stop procrastinating and get on with the task at hand.
- Use social media blockers. These are handy little extensions you can add to your Internet browser that will prevent you from accessing Facebook, Twitter, or other procrastination tools. Some blockers will reward you with a short social media break every 25 minutes, while others won’t let you back onto Facebook until you answer a series of mathematical problems. The stereotypical lazy student would rather carry on working than attempt mental maths!
- Ditch your friends. It may sound harsh, but study groups or coffees with friends are often an excuse to procrastinate. If your friend suggests meeting in the student union to go over notes, it’s likely that you’ll just end up chatting about last night’s EastEnders for two hours. Take it from us – you’ll do your best work alone with no distractions from your mates. The next time your friend asks you if you want a study break, take a moment to consider whether you actually need one, or whether you’re just looking for a welcome excuse to procrastinate.
- Make a To Do list. If you are easily distracted, a To Do list can really help you stay on task. Nothing beats the satisfaction of crossing things off a list; especially the final task: ‘write my essay.’ To step things up, you can even assign time frames to each point on the list to increase your focus.
- Shut out the world. If you work best at home, it can be difficult to avoid procrastinating. Getting up to make cups of tea, revision snacks, or wandering into your housemates’ rooms wailing ‘write my essay for me’ are all methods of wasting time. Instead, try making a work or revision playlist, investing in some noise-cancelling headphones and blocking everything out for an hour or two. You’ll be surprised how quickly the time passes!
- Take extreme measures. As a last resort, try enlisting a friend’s help. Get them to change your social media passwords and tell them not to give you the new ones until you’ve finished your essay. If you physically can’t access your Facebook account, you have no choice but to do your work! However, make sure you use a trusted friend; you don’t want to finish your essay to find they’ve been using your account to post all your embarrassing selfies from nights out!