If you have trouble focusing on your schoolwork, you’re not alone.
Many students find it hard to concentrate on studying when they have so much other work to do and so many other distractions around them.
Follow these helpful tips on how to stop procrastinating as a student and get better grades so that you can be more prepared when an exam or paper comes due and less stressed overall.
Understand why you’re procrastinating
The most important thing you can do is understand why you’re procrastinating. If it’s because you’re too busy with other tasks then try to schedule your time better or find ways to simplify those tasks.
If it’s because you don’t know what the task is or how to start then try reading over the task again, or reaching out for help.
And if it’s because the task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller steps that are easier and more manageable.
You may even want to consider writing them on an index card so you have them in front of you.
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, reward yourself by doing something you enjoy. You deserve it!
Create a timeline/schedule for your tasks
I start by looking at the things I need to do for my classes. One thing I can do is check out my syllabus, which will give me an idea of what assignments are due when.
Next, I put those assignments in order of priority (starting with the most important assignment).
After that, I look at how much time each task will take. That way, if I have too many tasks on my plate and not enough time to get them all done, I can prioritize the ones that would be least detrimental if they were late.
For example, if one class is really strict about deadlines and another isn’t as strict about deadlines, then it’s okay if one class’ work gets turned in late because it won’t hurt your grade too much.
If you’re having trouble writing: Some people say reading aloud helps, or talking through your thoughts in front of a camera so you can see yourself speak them helps too.
Set smaller goals
Setting smaller goals can help you get better grades.
For example, if you want to study for the test in two weeks, set the goal for yourself of studying for 15 minutes every day this week.
This will make the goal seem more manageable, and the rewards (getting better grades) will be more immediate.
It is important not to wait until the last minute to start working on your goal; it may be too late by then.
Make sure to check off the days that you work on your goal so that you can measure how much progress you have made.
You should also reward yourself with something small when you meet your goal or complete an assignment or exam. You deserve it!
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, stop and think about what might help motivate you: what are some positive things before?
Find a study buddy
One of the best ways to avoid procrastination is by finding a study buddy. Find someone who shares your academic goals and meet up with them every week or so.
It’ll be easier to stay focused on your work when you know you’re accountable for it. And if things don’t go well, you can use that time to help each other out.
If papers are all over your desk, it’s going to be difficult to find what you need.
A messy workspace can lead to laziness and procrastination because there will always seem like something more important than taking care of what needs done now.
Keeping everything in order will keep you productive and on task.
Once you complete a task, reward yourself with an enjoyable activity.
Try not to just give yourself an excuse to indulge in bad habits though!
Studies show that taking regular breaks from your work can be hugely beneficial to productivity.
Breaks give your brain time to process what you’ve been working on, so when you come back, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off with greater ease.
Breaks also keep you from getting mentally exhausted, which is especially important for students who spend hours at their desk each day.
If you’re feeling tired, take a five-minute break: go stretch or walk around the building. Drink water. Take a few deep breaths.
Clear your mind by drawing or coloring
and get started again on something you were putting off before the break!
When it comes to remembering assignments, alarms are your friend: Set an alarm in your phone about every two hours.
The alarm will sound and let you know that it’s time for a small break. Keep in mind not to set alarms too close together though; about two hours apart works best for most people.
Rewarding yourself for reaching your goals will make it easier to stop procrastinating. For example, reward yourself with something you enjoy such as an ice cream cone after you finish studying for an exam.
Rewarding yourself in this way can also help you feel more satisfied with your work since it feels more like a reward than a chore.
Rewards don’t have to cost anything, either! The next time you are faced with a difficult task, consider taking five minutes to do something that gives you pleasure or relaxes your mind.
It may not seem like much at the time, but those five minutes of relaxation could be the break you need from stressing out about everything on your plate.