Top 10 Ways to Beat Procrastination and Boost Productivity

Beating procrastination can be hard with the ever growing number of distractions. Here are our top 10 ways to get motivated, and beat procrastination!

1) Turn off your phone.

Do it. And don’t tell me you only have it to “check the time”.  You’re only lying to yourself.

2) Block your favorite websites.

The days of pen and paper are long gone,  and the reality is you probably need your laptop or desktop to do your work. Unfortunately, the internet rabbit hole is getting more enticing every day.  Between funny cat videos, finding out which 30 Rock character you are,  and Stranger things Season 2, the internet can provide immeasurable hours of entertainment.  what started out as a “a quick 5 minute refresher” can turn into a 5 hour “is it 12am already” stint.  Downloading a browser extension to block certain websites for an alloted amount of time just might be the way to go.  There are tons of online extensions that do this, LeechBlock is a free one that works on firefox, but you can just find anyone that works for you.

3) Make a To-Do List.

Include  easy things too like “take out the trash”, and “do a load of laundry” because then even when your’e in  slump, you can get something done (and you’ll feel great every time you can check something off your list).

4) Choose a study spot.

It’s easier to study in a place that is meant for studying.  Pick a place that works for you, and try to make it a place where the only thing you are going to be doing is studying.  That way when you sit down in your place, you’ll associate it with cracking open those books.

5) Clean your study place.

This goes hand-in-hand with #4, but no one wants to work in a mess.  If your desk is a mess, you’ll probably  just end up “working on your bed”, and then fall asleep within a half an hour.  So just do it.  Even better? Put it on your to-do list and have a little party when you check it off.

6) Make plans.

I know this one sounds a little counter productive, but if you have an entire day to write an essay, chances are you’re not really going to spend the entire day working on it.  But if you make plans, the time that you do sit in front of the laptop will more likely be used to work.

7) keep a calendar.

Unlike a daily to-do list, a calendar is more for planning the bigger picture.  While your to-do list might say things like “do 1/2 of problem set”, “write an introduction paragraph”, and “get groceries”, a calendar would say “calc test Nov 15th”,”essay due Nov 17th”, and “Thanksgiving Break”.  These big events will help you understand the context of why you need to be studying right now, and motivate you to get your to do list done for today.

8) Take breaks.

Breaks are important they can relax you, so you can go hit the books with full force.  My biggest tip with scheduling breaks is to not  do it by time, and instead do it by task.  For example instead of taking a 15 minute break after an hour, take one after you finish one thing on your to-do list that you anticipate will take about an hour.  Nothing worse than having a break disrupt your flow, especially if you are anything like me and take a solid 20 minutes just to get into it..

9)Just do it.

sometimes all you need to do is sit down, and really grind it out, no matter how much you’d rather find out which food matches your personality.

10) Know yourself.

And lastly, there are hundreds of articles just like this.  There are countless studies conducted by experts in the field, who have dedicated their livelihoods to the  study of productivity and the science of procrastination.  The truth of the matter, however, is no one knows you better than you.  Sure reading articles and research can help you find different methods to try, but ultimately you have to decide what is going to work for you.

Thank you for reading! If you want to read our last article about Advice for Pre-Med Students, click here.  Have a great day!