Station: Procrastination

Assignment season is never fun.

This term it seems to have come even earlier for me than the last and once again I’m finding myself completely under-prepared and overwhelmed. But – a few sage pieces of advice that I’ve picked up from family, friends, and experience over the years are helping me get though it. So, I thought I would share these with anyone else who knows the struggles of procrastination during assignment season.

Tip Number One: Now, this tip may horrify some of you, but the best way that I’ve found to force myself into be productive on assignments is simply to lock myself away in the library.

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Sir Michael Cobham Library, Bournemouth University.

I know it’s not everyone’s favourite place and, trust me, I don’t make regular trips there myself. But being in a place where everyone around you is being productive can often help inspire you to get work done yourself. Even if this doesn’t work, as a last resort, hopefully sitting in a library with nothing to do should bore you into getting some work done just to pass the time. The library is the place where I’ve had the most ‘eureka’ moments while doing assignments, bolts of inspiration that have struck and led to me writing full paragraphs in the span of minutes. Location can be everything when you need a space to concentrate, so try finding a new spot to work if you’re getting stuck.

Tip Number Two: DON’T turn your phone off

Contrary to most advice you’ll hear surrounding the use of technology while trying to study, I’ve found that turning your phone off only makes you think about it more. By turning your phone off you are leaving your mind open to the curiosity of whether you have a message or a notification and the itching need to turn your phone on to check. In short, turning your phone off makes you think about it more than if you were to just leave it on. So my suggestion for studying is just to put your phone on do not disturb mode and leave it face down on your desk or by your side. This way if a notification pops up, it may distract you temporarily, but you won’t be thinking of it most of the time that you’re working.

Tip Number Three: Clear a space to allow yourself to focus

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My study space at home.

If you set your workspace up on your bed or any other space you usually go to relax, your mind will find a way to stray back to its usual state. The only way that I’ve found to really get my head into a space where I can concentrate is by cleaning up an area around me and filling it with all the things that I need. Even if I don’t end up needing the things, surrounding myself with items that put me into an orderly mindset helps me focus on being productive and motivating me to get things done. Even just moving from your bed to a desk can help. Whereas, if I were to surround myself with a comfy bed, a laptop, and pillows, well.. when there is a recipe for Netflix, it will be made.

Fighting off procrastination can be a wearying task, ironically I even procrastinated this blog post for about a week. But for now, I am going to heed my own advice and get working on my assignments, hopefully getting a little bit ahead on my work load. I hope this helps anyone who needs it and I wish a Happy Easter to anyone reading this weekend!

 

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