With the EMA (End of Module Assignment) for my Open University course due in foor weeks, and with me having spent all day outside because the weather was absolutely glourious, it`s a good day to write about procrastination. I`d like to think I`m okay at time management, but when something doesn`t inspire me, I procrastinate. Find myself other things to do. Let myself get distracted. These sort of things.
Eventually, of course, the work needs to be done, and then I get all stressed out. Many people say they work better on adrenaline – they deliberately leave their assignments until a week or less from due date and then work late nights. (I`m glad I start mine about a month before they are due: with the last one, I had the cold from hell for more than a week, so I was glad I had only the mindmap left to do.) The thought of avoiding this (for me) totally paralyzing short-deadline stress makes sure I do my work (and the early start allows for some procrastination), which made me thing, maybe I should start rewarding myself with non-content related things if I dislike a task.
Right now, I`m thinking the sooner this assignment is submitted, the sooner my summer break starts, and the longer it will be. Or gym. Sometimes, I just do not want to go, but I think of that amazing feeling as soon as I am there, getting closer to a better body… I wrote about this already just recently.
Another way of motivating myself is, just like going to the gym to work out only just for 30 minutes, to sit at my computer, open the assignment and vow to stay here for at least one hour. Even if I`m just producing one paragraph, I have produced something, usually more, and I have kept the momento going. I hope to make this one hour of study a habit (normally, I tend to”binge” on it, like not do anything all week, and then study the whole weekend, from breakfast to dinner), just like going to the gym straight from work. For the summer break, I have bought myself some related literature to read that for that hour, to keep the moment going and not break the habit. I can make an hour – add gym, that`s 2.5 and still leaves a large part of my night for playing DesignHome (my prime procrastinating tool!!).
Small goals also help me – at the moment, I`m working on “4 weeks, 4 questions, and then 4 months off”.
Another idea I want to try is to make a list of all the things I`m procrastinating. If I`m catching myself wanting to postpone something else, I have to do one of those activities instead. Keep the list where you see it often, like in your diary, or take a photo and make it a background picture on your phone.
Of course, there is multiple articles online on procrastination and how to beat it, but this is my personal thoughts and strategies. This article is inspired by a part of said assignment, where you have to review your “skills audit” and explain how you have improved your study skills over the last year (no, procrastination wasn`t the only example I gave :-)).
My Action Plan in Short
- non-content related rewards
- do at least a little bit
- break down into small, achievable goals
- procrastination list