Get Working!

by Elizabeth Pratt


Procrastination – the bane of student life. It is not a choice but a curse, something many people don’t understand. However, with some tips that helped me cut down my time spent procrastinating, hopefully you will soon overcome it.

1. A Change of Scenery
A lot of the time I find that I get distracted when trying to study in my uni accommodation. Not even by the internet or video games, but by my room itself. I may decide to have a shower rather than do my work right away. Often times I’ve found myself tidying first my desk, then the whole of my room because I ‘can’t think’ when it’s cluttered. But we all know the truth of it – I’m procrastinating.  So get out of your room! The library on campus is great for concentration and it’s open twenty-four hours. Or you could find a quiet spot in Unio and bash out that essay that’s been plaguing you for the last week. Find what works for you and do it.

2. Isolation I

When I say isolation, I don’t just mean by keeping yourself on lock down until you get your work done. Break down the work you have to do, make it manageable, by isolating each aspect of it and take it one step at a time. You have to write a three thousand word essay? Type up any pertinent notes from reading or lectures you have. Make a plan. Find some critical reading to support your argument. Think about it in increments and you won’t find yourself so overwhelmed that the procrastination bug sneaks in.

3. Isolation II
That being said, physical isolation is good too. Personally, I find putting on headphones and listening to music, blocking out outside sounds, helps me concentrate on my work far more effectively than absolute silence would.  But we’re all different and some people are better suited to silence.

4. Forest App
This is less of a tip and more of a recommendation. I know that, even when I’m in the library, I get caught up with notifications and whatever apps I have on my phone. Before I know it, it’s been an hour and I haven’t even opened a book. Last term I found a (free!) solution. The Forest app is available from the app store of your choice. The premise is that you grow trees and the longer you go without clicking out of the app on your phone the bigger the tree is, the alternative being the tree’s death. It doesn’t sound like much but it gets addictive and you get an odd sense of accomplishment when you can see in quantitative terms how many hours you have studied that day.

(photo courtesy of Luis Llerena, at

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