Study Techniques: Causes of Procrastination

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With the midterms coming up, do you find yourself cleaning your room, organizing your closet and spending time with your younger siblings? You’re not going crazy, you’re just procrastinating. Procrastinating is the art of putting off studying at all costs. Finding a million things that absolutely have to be done is your way of delaying the tasks you find overwhelming or intimidating. You may feel like the mountain of work you need to get through is daunting, but delaying only causes more stress. Here are some ways to get going.

1. Make a schedule: Divide your study time into manageable chunks. Start slowly at first and then study for longer as you progress. Be realistic with your expectations. You know how much studying you can comfortably do in a day. Divide your time between all the tasks you have to do. Make sure that you leave enough time for each task so that you don’t fall behind. You can make a schedule on your computer, draw it out on paper or find a phone app to help.

2. Live in the now: When you sit down to study, don’t think about all the stuff you have to learn for exams, only think about the hour you have to study and the tasks you have to complete today. This will help you to feel less stressed about your workload. Completing your task for the day will make you feel successful. This will put you in a positive frame of mind about your studies. Dividing up the tasks will make your studies more manageable.

3. Minimize distractions: Tell your friends and family beforehand that you will be studying and that you cannot be disturbed. Be strong, even if your friends are out having fun. You need to stick to your study schedule or you will end up cramming the night before an exam, wishing you had started earlier.

4. Prioritize: Study the most difficult or intimidating work first. That way, you will know that the hard work is over first and will be more motivated to continue with your studies all the way up to the exam date. Keep your expectations realistic; the more times you fail to adhere to the study schedule, the less you are likely to try.

5. Reward yourself: When you successfully complete the tasks you have set yourself for the day, take some time out to relax. Meet up with friends, go shopping or spend some time outside. Rewarding yourself gives you time to unwind and relieves stress. You are far more likely to start studying if you know that there will be a reward at the end.

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