Seven ways to beat procrastination

doit2YES, IT’S THAT time of year again, when you’re sitting in a revision lecture wishing desperately that you’d actually paid attention in lectures and attended your seminars. You suddenly realise that you do actually need to know stuff for your exams, resulting in a mad panic at the overload of ‘revision’ you need to do. Just the sight of the long list of topics to catch up on makes your heart beat faster and feels like a full workout, resulting in you immediately needing a break, and it’s really easy for this short break to turn into a full day of procrastination. So here are seven possible ways you’re procrastinating, and potential solutions to the problems:

Problem One: You keep getting distracted by online shopping

Solution: With a limited number of shops, online shopping is very popular among us Aberystwyth students. Especially during revision time, the pull of new clothes may be too strong to ignore, resulting in wasted hours trawling through pages and pages of potential purchases. But no more; simply use the equation ‘½ hour revision = £5’ – at the end of the day you can spend accordingly to how many hours of work you’ve put in. Or you can bribe yourself with that new dress or pair of shoes you ‘need’ so desperately once you have completed you exams to the best possible effort you could have put in.

Problem Two: You keep getting hooked on funny YouTube videos

Solution: We’ve all been there. You start off listening to a song, then think a particular vlog looks interesting in the sidebar, and soon you find yourself watching someone prank call pest control, and the whole notion of revision has just completely slipped your mind. Instead of letting this happen, allow yourself to watch perhaps two videos for every successful 40 minutes of work you do.

Problem Three: You keep stopping work every five minutes to choose a new song

Solution: Instead of listening to individual songs, try listening to a full album. This way, you don’t have to keep stopping to change the song, and at the same time you also have a built in timer; you must work solidly without any distractions until the album comes to an end. It sounds tough, especially if you’re like me and can’t stay focused for very long at all, but my flatmate and I found this method highly effective last year during revision week, and the relief you feel when the music stops playing, accompanied with the sense of achievement, is brilliant.

Problem Four: You keep checking Facebook

Solution: No, nothing new and exciting has happened on your newsfeed since you refreshed the page five minutes ago. It’s not essential that you like Amelia’s new profile picture as soon as she puts it up, or that you know Dave is in Cambrian having a casual drink, or that girl you never liked from secondary school has just got engaged. It may sound drastic, but if Facebook is your biggest procrastination problem, it’s probably best to just deactivate your account, even if it’s only from the hours of nine till five each day.

Problem Five: You’re spending too much time making/eating/buying food

Solution: Revision week is not the time to decide you’re going to become a culinary genius and attempt to make your own chicken pot pie complete with home-made pastry. Try and stick to simple meals that are not time consuming and do not require a lot of preparation. Also, don’t mistake boredom for hunger; I’m guilty of it, too. As soon as I hit a certain point in work, the first thing I want to do is raid the fridge. Try and have snacks near you to avoid wasting time choosing what you fancy.

Problem Six: You’d rather clean the kitchen than revise

Solution: Even though you’ve lived in the filth for four months without caring, it suddenly becomes unbearable and you get a sudden urge to give your student house a deep clean. You can’t focus on work in an untidy environment, can you? So you spend the next two days washing, hovering and dusting. Just no. If it is absolutely imperative to clean the house, get everyone to join in. Each take a certain room or a certain job, and you’ll have it done in no time.

Problem Seven: You’ve started binge watching a new series

Solution: We’ve all been there. You’re about to get down to some serious revision, when you suddenly become alerted to the fact that the new series of Suits has just been added to Netflix. Or you decide now is the perfect time to start watching Lost; your housemate has been banging on about it for ages, so it must be worth it. Or maybe the new Game of Thrones series is coming out, and you desperately need to re-watch the last series in preparation. Whatever the reason, if you’re not careful, binge watching the series may become inevitable. To combat this, try to limit yourself to a few episodes before bed as a reward for a successful day of revision.

So there you have it; seven simple solutions to seven procrastination problems.