How to stop procrastinating – an essential IB skill

So you’ve read my Time Management post and you’re thinking that planning and getting on top of all your work seems like a pretty swell idea…but you have one major problem left: procrastination. It is one thing to plan and be organised, but it is another thing to actually follow that plan and get things done, because they aren’t going to get done by themselves!

Here are 5 easy ways to beat procrastination:

  1. Just 5 minutes – start the task just for 5 minutes. Just do 5 minutes. Chances are, you’ll be able to start, if not try any of the following.
  2. Break it down – putting on your planner “Do EE” is a large and unreasonable task. Break it down into smaller chunks and work with one chunk at a time. E.g. Gather research for EE. And then just do that (and tick it off). Each day, do a little more until it gets going. If the task is too hard for you, see what you can do first, then seek help after.
  3. Get away from your laptop/phone/internet – put it in a different room, or turn it off. Honestly, I know how distracting Facebook is when you are in the mood to procrastinate. You’ll find you will get going as soon as you can’t get to it. If you need your laptop, use an app like Self Control to block your “procrastination sites”.
  4. Plan a reward – “After I do this, I can do whatever I want for the rest of the evening.” Or, promise yourself that if you do everything you planned to during the week, you can take the weekend off – now that’s a good deal!
  5. Keep busy – don’t leave yourself a ridiculous amount of time to do minuscule homework tasks that you’ll put off anyway. Get involved! Go and play sport, hang out with friends, volunteer, then see how well you work afterwards. Don’t give yourself the time to procrastinate.
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