6 Definitive Steps to Stop Procrastinating on Your Studies Now - 3 min read

Your eyes glazed and glued to the screen. Paralyzed and mesmerized. Full of guilt and remorse. You should be working on the assignment, but instead you’re watching videos on YouTube. Every so often, you look down at the clock, knowing full well how much work you could have done if you had spent the last 3 hours working instead.

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We all procrastinate, we all joke about procrastination, and we all hate procrastination. So how do we get rid of it then? What I’ve found is that there are two ways to deal with procrastination.

One way is avoiding it.

There are certain precautions you can take before you start working, so there’s less chance you’ll succumb to the evil powers of procrastination. However, those precautions won’t help much if you’ve already fallen into what I call the “procrastination hole”.

So today, I will guide you through my six-step process on how to stop procrastination, which I’ve used numerous times–and it always works.

Step 1: Activate a blocker

One thing about the procrastination hole, is that it’s quite hard to jump out of. It can feel as if all your apps are holding your down, and getting up and doing something productive feels like the hardest thing in the world.

You need to pull the cords. Unfortunately, it seems that most of our modern machines don’t require cords anymore, so that’s pretty much worthless.

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So we’ll resort to the next best thing. What I usually do is to activate a blocker that blocks all the websites I commonly procrastinate on. That way I have no way of accessing them. The thing about this is that you should activate the blocker for a couple of hours, so when you get back to work, you don’t fall into the same trap.

There are plenty of others apps out there for the job, so find whichever works for you. I use Cold Turkey, which is a free desktop app that allows you to block the websites and applications you choose to keep them from distracting you.

Step 2: Drink some water

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Yeah, I know—drinking water seems to be the solution to everything. However, there’s a high chance you’re somewhat dehydrated if you’ve worked for a long period of time and are beginning to feel exhausted. This might be one of the reasons you can’t seem to focus and opt to procrastinate instead.

Step 3: Get out!

And here comes the hard part, which is also the most important step. it’s a lot easier if you’ve completed step 1 and 2. You need to get out!

I could list hundreds of studies that show links between going for a walk and productivity. It’s literally one of the most effective brain drugs you can get, and it’s certainly in the student budget.

Don’t make an activity out of it. Don’t go running, don’t go grocery shopping, don’t do anything other than taking a walk. It’s about refreshing your brain, so don’t bother it with anything else

Go!

Step 4: Clean your workspace

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There are a bunch of studies that shows that people are way more focused and productive while working in a tidy place as opposed to a messy one.

When I say you should clean, I actually mean “remove all that shit from your desk” and I mean that quite literally. Don’t bring out the wipes and plastic gloves. You just need to get it out of sight quickly, otherwise, you might just end up procrastinating on the cleanup as well and decide that now is the perfect time for a full spring cleaning.

There have been times where I’ve literally just taken everything on my desk and dumped it on the floor behind me. Not very elegant, but quite effective.

Step 5: Refocus

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Focus on one thing. If you’re anything like me, you might have a huge to-do list with all the unrealistic goals of what you want to achieve this day, but that list needs to go. One look at that list and you’re already halfway to the couch ready to continue your rewatch of Game of Thrones before season 8.

You should focus on one thing only. A good idea is actually to write down the one thing you’re going to be working on and hanging it in front of you or placing it on your desk.

Step: 6: Use the pomodoro technique

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Before you just jump into your work again, I recommend you commit to the pomodoro technique. It’s basically a simple productivity technique that says you should work uninterrupted for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. I don’t use this technique all the time and I don’t recommend that you do either, but when you’re finding it hard to focus or doing something that’s not super fun it might be a good idea to use the pomodoro technique to keep yourself on track.

That’s my routine. Some might say it’s excessive, but the things is that you’re not a machine built with the purpose of mass-producing assignments–you get bored! And that’s completely natural, and with all of these websites and apps fighting for your attention, it’s not really that surprising that your brain prefers funny videos as opposed to boring school work.

This routine is one way of combating this, but of course, I made this routine for myself, and it might not work as well for others.

Do you have another routine that you like to use? Share it in the comments below! 🙂

Markus studies at Copenhagen Business School, and as a student forced to process endless amounts of textbook babble, he has had to adapt or die. He very quickly realized that there are smart ways to study and not-so-smart ways, and as a self-proclaimed “study hacker”, he is eager to share with you what works, and more importantly, what definitely doesn’t work.

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