How to avoid falling into the procrastination trap during your studies
Procrastination is something that most students experience at some point in their Masters’s / Bachelors’ journey. From studying for an exam, and completing an assignment to writing a report or your thesis, procrastination is an obstacle which impacts many.
It is easy to stall and put off doing hard assignments till the very last minute. However, this makes life even harder and the urgency to finish everything at once is not a pleasant experience. It can be stressful and may lead to sleepless nights. I would like to admit that I myself procrastinate sometimes and I write this from some area of expertise : )
Based on my own experience of studying at WUR, and some great inputs from my ‘Master Procrastinator’ friends, I have come up with some tips & tops that can help you get through the exam season and keep your peace of mind! Here are some useful pointers for a less stressed and procrastination-free life.
- Start with something small
Often the hardest thing to do is start. In such times it is best to start with something small. Achieving even a small task can increase your confidence and boost your morale. This will further encourage you to continue and provide momentum to handle other, more complex tasks. A small accomplishment can provide a push in the right direction and help you get on a study drive to help you finish that assignment.
- Pick different spots to study
Studying in the same spot or in your room repetitively can lead to a lack of inspiration to work. In such situations, it can be helpful to change your study spot. There are plenty of places to study on the WUR campus, my personal favourites are Aurora and Lumen. Besides this, there are many cafes and a public library in Wageningen where you can find a quiet and cosy spot to study.
- Make a study date with your friends
Going to the library at Forum or Leeuwenborch can seem like a daunting task sometimes. In those days where you can’t find the motivation to study, make plans to study with a friend. This helps with the lack of motivation and pushes you to get out of the house and study! It can be encouraging to study and brainstorm together for ideas for an assignment or even for your thesis. However, this might not work if you like to study alone!
- Do a calming activity (yoga, listening to music, sports)
Sometimes when you feel overwhelmed with studies, it is a good idea to take a break and do an activity which helps you feel better. This activity can be anything which puts you in a better mood. It can range from doing some yoga, sports, swimming, meditation, listening to music, etc. This will help you feel energised and reorient your mind. Such activities can boost your adrenaline which will in turn help you feel better and give you the motivation to study.
- Give yourself a little something!
It is important to reward yourself even for small accomplishments. This will help keep your morale up and keep up the drive to study. It also helps creates an incentive for you to finish a task or an assignment.
- Setting goals and deadlines
If you have a whole report or assignment to finish, it can seem like a lot to do in one sitting. Setting up small goals and deadlines for yourself is useful in such situations. This can make studying seem less intimidating, and help you finish that assignment/report which you may be dreading to start writing.
Studying can sometimes get tough but it is important to not get too hard on yourself. One last tip – avoid the urge to deep clean the house or Netflix on the couch, you got this!