I should probably get to work…

Procrastination is a disease we all have and will suffer from at some point in our lives. It leaves many of us with a sense of hopelessness, despair, and an intense feeling of guilt as we refresh our Facebook pages for the hundredth time while the cursor on a minimised, blank Word document blinks sadly away (after you’ve written the essay question, of course). The Procrastination Monster is a particularly persistent, pernicious one to beat, but it can be done…

Here are three ways that I’ve found help me to beat the Procrastination Monster – and hopefully, they’ll help you, too!

1. Change your password.
No, seriously. Change the password of your Facebook, your Twitter, your MySpace, and especially your Tumblr and any other distracting form of social media. Heck, sometimes I even turn the wireless Internet connection on my computer off, just so I won’t be able to access the Internet, and thereby waste time watching countless funny YouTube videos.

I usually get my sister to change my password, but your roommate/significant other/parent is also useful. I would recommend you have a “daily check” policy with your password keeper, just in case your tutor decides to give you an assignment that forces you to engage in social media in order to pass (yes, I am speaking from experience).

In all seriousness, with the increased importance that social media plays in our lives, you probably legitimately can’t go a whole day without checking it, and besides, as you will see next, scheduled breaks are good to have!

2. Have a break. A proper one!
Although it might seem tempting to lock yourself (metaphorically, to actually lock yourself in would be breaking a whole lot of OCC Health and Safety rules) in a computer lab to finish your assignment, this should only be done if you are absolutely desperate and really have left your assignment till the day before. I find that not setting time for proper breaks during the day actually causes me to procrastinate more, as I’ll take a whole lot of “quick” breaks for the bathroom, to get a snack, get a drink, just finish the chapter of the book I’m reading, and quickly text my friend… then oh look, two hours have gone by and I’ve only written two sentences/turned one page of my textbook!

If you know that proper break times are coming up, then you can find yourself more committed to do as much work as possible. The thought of a nice, leisurely hour-long lunch as a reward for all the hard work you’ve completed during the morning will keep you motivated against procrastinating.

3. Have someone to guilt you into getting back into your study.
As someone still living at home, I’m lucky enough to have a family who will look at me with judgement and disapproval when I leave the study for the 5th time in 30 minutes for another so-called study break. Sometimes, the feeling of guilt is enough to drive you back to your essay/exam revision and keep you there for a solid hour, actually getting work done! If you don’t have the luxury of a disapproving family member or roommate, try sticking a picture of Oprah near the exit of where you like to study. While Oprah does approve of your designated study breaks, she does not approve of procrastination. She just wants you to live your best life, okay?

*Pictures of Oprah can be substituted by pictures of Albus Dumbledore, Mr. T, Bob and/or Jillian from The Biggest Loser, or anyone else who will motivate you to do your best.
Vanquishing procrastination is all about mind over matter – don’t let the monotony of studying get you down! Because on the other side of it, is a whole lot of glorious free time.

What are your tips to help beat the Procrastination Monster? Share in the comments below!