Study tips for procrastinators

07 October 2021

Have you been procrastinating and been less productive lately? Here are some tips that may help!

  1. Write down what you need to study the next day before you sleep. Sometimes we procrastinate because there are too many tasks to do, and we do not know where to start. One solution is to write down what you need to study the next day before going to bed. By making these tasks as explicit and clear as possible, you can spend less time figuring out what tasks you have or which one to start when you wake up the next morning. Simply create a list and cross off tasks one by one as you complete them. The more tasks you cross off, the more sense of achievement you will get, and the more psychologically motivated you will be to complete the rest tasks.
  2. Disconnect from your phone. The modern development of technology has made us get easily distracted while studying. The emails, text messages, and various forms of social media apps definitely do not help during our study. Sometimes we just cannot help picking up our smartphones and browsing some news or posts on social media. Before we realize it, one hour has already passed. One way to prevent us from being distracted by our phones while we study is to be far away from our smartphones. Silence it or turn it off, and put it in somewhere you cannot see or reach easily (e.g. in another room, in your drawer or in your bag). Try to control yourself when you want to grab your phone. Perhaps take a walk instead.
  3. Restrict your freedom of doing assignments. Sometimes we procrastinate because we have too much freedom. Some assignments are given at the beginning of the new semester, but their due dates are so far away. In this case, you should set some deadlines by yourself for the first draft, second draft, final version... and start earlier! You can even tell your classmates, friends or family about your plan and ask them to keep you accountable. They do not need to supervise you every single minute of the day, but the social pressure will have an influence on you because we naturally care about what they think of us.
  4. Mindfulness research has found that mindfulness links to less procrastination. Mindfulness tends to teach people to live in the present moment, pay attention to the self and to our environment. Mindfulness can train us to self-regulate our attention spans, which is just what we need while dealing with procrastination. We procrastinate because we cannot regulate ourselves to do what we need to do. Making a conscious effort to be mindful can benefit our studies, as well as our wellbeing.

By Jian Zhao