Top 7 Tips to Stay Motivated and Avoid Procrastination

[This is #8 of Back To School Series: Stay Motivated and Avoid Procrastination.]

It’s alright, we have all been there. We have all experienced the dreadful moments when we just really don’t want to work and would like to lie in bed instead. Here are some tips that can help you to get motivated and avoid procrastination.


1. Understand why you procrastinate.

There are a lot of reasons why one person procrastinate. Some think that the task can be done later and it would still work totally fine, some are actually so afraid of failure that the stress causes them to procrastinate. Knowing why you procrastinate will allow you to use suitable strategies to motivate yourself.


2. Break down your tasks.

Breaking down your tasks can reduce your fear. Instead of looking at a huge chunk of information and a very challenging work, you are telling yourself to go step-by-step and do some small tasks first. It makes the whole thing less horrifying, so you can start more easily. Doing so will also give you a clear direction on how you should complete the task, and it being difficult or “I don’t know what to do” will no longer be an excuse.

You should really try to sit down with your laptop or pen and papers, and write down all the things you have to do. That means looking into different aspects of the work, brainstorm everything little task that needs to be done, and list them out according to its urgency and priority. If you are having a big assignment or project, the best way to do it is to first get a separate piece of paper, break down the tasks, and then put a date next to each of the task so you have an actual plan for yourself.


3. Focus on progress.

Focus on the effort and time you spent on the tasks instead of the result first. Time and effort are something you can actually control, and remember to reward yourself for that.

Focusing on progress means that you should think about achieving a certain task rather than doing something for the sake of a good result. Instead of constantly worrying about how much of what you do actually contributes to your grades, you are motivating and rewarding


4. Try to do easier tasks first.

If you are not motivated at all, there is no point to read a huge chunk of information you probably cannot understand, or do an extremely difficult math paper that you won’t be able to do anyway. In this situation, the last thing you would want to do is to make yourself feel frustrated. Instead try to make yourself accomplished by completing little and easy tasks first. You will eventually be able to get back on track.


5. Find your peers to work with you.

Having someone beside you to motivate you and to work together makes the whole thing less boring and tedious, and if studying and interacting with friends is actually an effective learning strategy for you, this method works even better.


6. Stop waiting until you have sufficient information to do something.

That is never going to work. This will just going to be your excuse to delay and procrastinate. Try to start working on what you have instead, you will find completing the task so much easier later on.


7. Just start working.

Tell yourself that you will just type one sentence, or solve one problem and you can take a rest. This way you will, at least, feel less guilty since you did work on something that day. You may also find the motivation to continue working.

But remember, it’s definitely normal that we have days when we are just less productive. After all we are all humans and we do need breaks. Just make sure you have the right balance.

This is also going to be the last post on our Back To School series. If you have missed any of it, make sure to read the posts here!

Good luck and stay motivated for the rest of the school year!


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