10 Ways to Procrastinate Less

Since I missed 4 months out of my first year of A levels due to glandular fever, I have had a lot of catching up to do this year. This means I have had to stop procrastinating as much as I used to and have collected some pretty useful tips on how to do this.

  1. Make a schedule. Last year I revised what I felt like revising when I felt like revising it, which meant that some topics that I enjoyed had been revised thoroughly, whereas others didn't get looked at at all. It also meant that often I'd spend an hour or so revising and then get bored. If I have everything planned I do my revision and then fit everything else around that.
  2. Plan for rest days. Make sure there is at least one day every week that you leave free for doing all the fun things which would otherwise distract you from your work.
  3. Get a proper sleeping schedule. If you're tired, you're less focused and therefore more likely to put off doing important things. It can also become tempting to take naps, which is very dangerous because you never know how long they will last and can take up a lot of your time.
  4. Allow yourself a daily treat. A massage, an hour reading a good book, even just a tea break. Taking a small step back from work makes it seems less daunting and allows a calmer more focused approach. Be careful to stick to your allotted time for this though, otherwise it can become procrastination itself.
  5. Set realistic targets. If you plan to do one chapter's worth of notes you're more likely to do it than if you try and force yourself to do a whole book. Similarly, make sure you leave enough time to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.
  6. Prioritise. This may seem obvious but last year I tried to do everything at once and it was just too much. This year I get my work done in order of priority so if I don't manage to do something it doesn't matter so much.
  7. Eat breakfast!!! It's the most important meal of the day for a reason.
  8. Plan a trip. This works particularly well if you're revising, plan something for after exams that you can look forward to and makes all your hard work seem worthwhile. Since you probably won't go out much during exam season it should be easy to save up for too ;).
  9. Remind yourself why you're doing this. I want to do well in my a levels so that I can go to university next year, therefore I have a photo of the campus up on my wall to motivate me. A friend of mine is trying to make his mum proud so he set a reminder on his phone to tell him that once a day if he's struggling. It just makes it all easier to bear when you think of the outcome.
  10. Don't be too hard on yourself. If things don't go to plan, don't give up and put off working at it again, keep focused and try again. Also if you're having a bad day, don't overwork yourself. Take a break. It makes everything better long term.