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October 9, 2011 / windlessly

Procrastination

Ahh yes, our old nemesis and friend. We’ve all been there before… a big project at hand or an essay due tomorrow… it’s nearing midnight and all you seem to be able to do is sift through Youtube videos you’ve watched a hundred times already, resign yourself to stalking your friends’ photos some more, or chatting with anyone that pops online so you can complain about the work you have to do. And of course, reading blogs such as this because you have nothing better to do at the moment.
Maybe the title of the post should be renamed to “The Story of My Life.” I procrastinated a ton before I actually logged on and posted this. But don’t worry, I can make up for it because newbie blogger yours truly here has just made another killer realization: that blogs ALWAYS make posts with lists of some sort! So here you are…. “Tips to Fight Procrastination.”
1)     Turn off the TV. Yup, it’s the worst thing you can do if you told yourself you would sit down with your math homework in your lap and you would do it slowly while watching your favorite program. Nope! Believe me, I’ve tried that many times and I always ended up with a blank piece of homework in front of me at the end. (Commercial breaks are far too interesting these days. More interesting than math homework at least).
2)     Log out of Facebook. This one’s an obvious one, but so hard to do. Make sure you log out and not just exit the browser, especially if you have it set to “remember account” like I do. Handy because you don’t have to type in your password every time, but dangerous because an hour of procrastination is just two clicks away.
3)     Don’t Work and Text. Not quite as catchy as “Don’t Drink and Drive,” but it’s solid advice nonetheless. If it’s important, just call the person now. Otherwise you’ll be stealing glances at your phone every five seconds and losing your concentration whenever you hear that familiar buzz. Flirting and chit-chat can wait. Unless, of course, you don’t mind doing it in detention tomorrow for not finishing your homework.
4)     Close the Door. This wonderful tactic works against both annoying siblings and pestering parents. You see, the barrier of solid wood that you put up makes it harder for these annoying creatures to come disturb you while you’re working. If you’re on the computer in the family room, I like to put earbuds or headphones on (without the music) to let others know I’m not in the mood to talk. Or, you can just announce to everyone in the vicinity that you are not to be disturbed until you finish XYZ. (I’ve had varying success with that last one.)
5)     Curb your Hunger. First ask yourself if you really are hungry and not just wanting an excuse to get up and walk around the kitchen. Then ask yourself if you will survive the next task without getting a snack. I find that I tend to want to eat more when I’m working on something I don’t really don’t want to do. If you really are hungry, eat first and then work. Otherwise it’s just another excuse to procrastinate that your subconscious is urging you to do.
6)     Turn Music Off OR Make a Playlist. This one’s particular and varies from person to person and task to task. I like to listen to music when I’m working on math homework, creative projects (English posters), and other busywork (chemistry problems or French translations), but not during other tasks, such as writing essays or reading a textbook chapter. If you choose to listen to music, however, make sure you are doing so from an ipod or Youtube playlist (or radio, if you can switch easily between stations to avoid commercial breaks). Do NOT go Youtube song hunting as I am guilty of a lot of the time, where you open a song you really like, then find another one when it ends. I always find myself drifting away on those Youtube links and then end up watching an episode of CollegeHumor, or just spending way too much time looking for songs. Playlists are the way to go.
7)     Do NOT Listen to the Endless Loop of Nyan Cat.  For obvious reasons. You WILL go insane.
8)     Stop Reading This. I know, this blog is incredibly entertaining and interesting to read but if you’re supposed to be finishing your homework right now, STOP READING and get back to work =D. I’ve even found myself googling “How to Stop Procrastinating” occasionally while procrastinating… the only way to stop procrastinating is to have self-discipline. Lists like these are just entertaining to read.
9)     ADVANCED TIP- Reward Yourself (Sparingly) Do not attempt this until you have mastered the above list. I find myself being more productive when I set a goal and then promise myself a “reward” upon completion of the task. Rewards can range from ice cream to an episode of your favorite TV series to going to a friend’s house. Just make sure it is proportionate to the task. For example, don’t promise yourself an hour-long TV episode for a 10-minute math assignment. But having that goal in mind is sometimes a really good motivator for you to finish that dreaded DBQ or novel you have to read.

That’s it! Happy working, feel free to comment any other tips against procrastination below. One can never be too wary against procrastination. 

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