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30 September 2012

Procrastination: every person's enemy

Oh hey!

So, if you're anything like me, you'll be reading this whilst you know that you should really be doing something else. Am I right? 

Everyday I put things off; homework, tidying my room, even just washing my hair or painting my nails. I always manage to find something to distract me, and you know what? It's infuriating! Sometimes I have to be so strict with myself and just say 'Right. That is enough. Just do it, you massive procrastinator!

It's especially bad when it's things like school work or piano practising that I'm putting off because I know that I will have to suffer the consequences in detention or my piano lesson the next day. But somehow, I can always convince myself that it's not that important, I can always do that maths homework tomorrow morning if I wake up extra early (NEVER works) or even at lunch just before the lesson! It is awful, and I'm horrible at disciplining myself. So I'm going to give myself, and all of you out there some tips to stop procrastinating and do what you're supposed to do:

Tip 1: A to-do list/schedule

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I cannot live without my schedules and to do lists.   It is an obsession that I can't cure - I just can't do something unless I have it written down next to a check box. But honestly, it does help to see what you have to do with the times you have to do it in. It really helps you organise your head and yes, it may be restricting, but isn't that kind of the aim here? Personally, it just helps to get things done, especially when I know there's a break round the corner!

I have a little book that I write all my schedules and to do lists in. It might seem sad, but I helps me to organise myself.

This is an example of a weekend schedule when I went to stay with my grandparents to revise.

Tip 2: Start with the easiest thing

Some people say to start with the hardest to get it out of the way, but I think that if you're trying to encourage yourself to do work, just start slowly with something you enjoy. It will help to ease you into your work and by the time you get to something more challenging you will hopefully be in the right mindset to get it done.

Tip 3: Turn off all your electronics

The amount of times I have used the 'but I need the internet!' excuse is shameful. It's just because I know that without all my gadgetry I will have to just get down to work. However, it really does help to just get out of the cyber-connected world and challenge your mind for a bit. I always give my laptop to my sister to hide in the house so I won't be tempted to just peek at Facebook or YouTube. But if you really do need the internet, go and sit where someone else is working so that you can keep an eye on each other and encourage each other do work!

Tip 4: Take breaks

Don't be so hard on yourself and work like a slave without taking a breather every (half) hour. It's proven that the human brain can't focus for more than 45 minutes so don't force it to. But, make sure it's no longer that 10 minutes and don't you dare go anywhere near your phone/laptop/computer or whatever you have disciplined yourself to stay away from. It's so important that you don't get tempted because once you go on it, the whole cycle will start again. Maybe go outside, ring a friend (on the house phone;) or go and chat to a sibling/parent. Just take a gentle breather to give your mind a rest and then get back to it.

Tip 5: Brain food

Make sure you don't starve/parch yourself. Before you start have a tasty plate of healthy snacks; fruit is a good one. But if you occasionally do need the odd chunk of chocolate, just go for it because it can help to stimulate the brain. Also, make sure you drink lots because it really does help refresh your mind and stop you from getting headaches. But water is best because fizzy drinks make you really tired after the sugar high has worn off.

And finally...

Tip 6: Reward yourself!

If you have done what you needed to do without distraction, you should be really proud of yourself! Make sure you don't finish too late so you can then relax and watch TV, go on your laptop, whatever; just indulge yourself and know that you worked hard and deserve it! There's nothing worse that knowing you have cheated yourself and going to bed thinking 'I could have done more today...' But there is also nothing better that the satisfaction of having done everything on your list and seriously deserving a good relaxing time afterwards.

I really hoped this helped guys! I know that it is just so difficult to motivate yourself but if you really try then you can reward yourself at the end :) 

Now get off blogger and back to what you were supposed to be doing!
Until next time!



    genuinely the best advice anyone's given me on this, you little agony aunt, you ;)

    Off to do ma studying.
    Cheese xxxx