Studying doesn’t need to equate to dying, despite what I had come to accept as my reality last year. I spent countless 2am nights desperately trying to solve algebraic equations that simply felt impossible, and even more on papers I had shamelessly procrastinated to the very last moment. I began to accept that studying had to be painful, after all, if I wasn’t on the verge of a mental breakdown, I wasn’t doing it correctly, right? Subsequently, as any logical person could infer, my grades dropped, my happiness plummeted, and I came to feel like I was skating on ice that cracked with every movement. I also started to accept this constant state of utter chaos as my reality, given it was the only situation that surrounded me; chaos.
Nonetheless, I entered this school year with a wildly different approach. Personally, I’m not a fan of the cheesy articles that tirelessly put my procrastinator tendencies down, and I imagine you aren’t either. So, here are a few tips I’ve worked into my schedule in order to make procrastinating a little bit healthier.
1. Create a study group
Truthfully, this is the most important tip on this list. I can not stress enough how much this helped me on days when I had less than zero motivation to do anything. Personally, I really enjoyed studying with a group of people that weren’t my friends, just because I found that it let me focus more both on what I was doing, and let me detach from the drama outside of school.
2. Get comfy (but not too much)
I personally like getting out of my school clothes and changing into my studying attire, which typically consists of sweatpants, an old T-shirt and a nice messy bun. Not only is this helping you relax and get more comfortable, but for me, it’s almost as if I’m starting a new part of my day; a mental fresh start, if you will.
3. Break down your tasks
Understanding that a project has multiple moving parts is essential in order to avoid overdrive when sitting down and trying to complete it. I like to delegate each subtask to a day, which still leaves me a little room for error and procrastination!!
4. Get a snack
You’ve probably hear this tip for eons before, but regardless, I can not recommend this tip enough. If you’re looking for healthy study snacks, personally I prefer apples with peanut butter, pita chips and assorted berries.
5. Prioritize your to-do list
Rank the things you need to do in order of importance. This gives you both a plan, and structure to your studying sessions. Just for reference, prioritize essays and projects due the next day over homework. The system you use will obviously come to mold your schedule and priorities, but I’ve found it’s a good stepping stone to managing procrastination.
6. Annotate textbook reading as you go
This may seem mundane, or even possibly like a waste of time, but it’s one of the only ways I’ve found to stay actively engaged when reading. Personally, I enjoy marking up the book itself, but as I’m aware that may not be an option for many people, I recommend using post its as possible.
7. Guess-timate how long a project will take you
This one personally, I feel is common sense, but unfortunately not something I regularly did. For example, if you have a ten page paper due a week from now, try to leave two to three days to complete it, rather than the daunting four hours before Google Classroom locks you out of the assignment.
8. If you need help with mental health management
This is a guide to good mental health and mental health issues, with links to a mental health assessment as well as state and national resources. Visit this website below for more info