Change up Procrastination for Productivity: Build Strong Habits for Academic Success

August 29, 2023

Academic success relies on more than just hitting the books. If you find yourself procrastinating when it comes to study and homework, what can you do?

The good news is, you can learn to overcome bad habits like procrastination. You might be surprised to find that some of the tips below even make the boring task of studying more fun!

Below, we will discuss specific organizational skills, using a calendar, the responsible use of technology, and gamification – and how you can use these habits to beat procrastination.

How to Get Organized and Stay That Way

Have you ever arrived at class without your books or homework? Maybe you woke up in the middle of the night with the realization that a big project was due the next day – and you hadn’t even started on it.

Good organizational skills can prevent these nightmare scenarios from recurring. Specifically, you should organize your materials and keep a calendar.

Organize Your Materials

Your grades can suffer if you consistently forget to bring the materials you need for class, be they books, notebooks, art supplies, or something else.

Procrastination is a common reason for this. You may wait until the last minute—when you’re about to walk out the door—before gathering your gear.

Instead, cultivate the habit of gathering your materials the night before, or at some specified time well before you have to leave for the day. Take a moment to mentally walk through your classes or tasks. This can help you remember what to bring.

Applying the “a place for everything and everything in its place” rule is also helpful. Designate a “home” for all your academic gear – a backpack, a shelf, a pencil case, a stack by the front door, or whatever works for you.

When you are finished using an item, don’t procrastinate about putting it back in its spot. If it’s already in your backpack or doorway shelf when you rush out the door, you will be much less likely to forget it.

Keep a Calendar

It may sound like a really obvious tip, but keeping a calendar, planner, or organizer was one of the most valuable life skills I picked up during my school days. As soon as you receive an assignment or make an appointment, write it on or input it into your calendar. Consulting your calendar daily will help you plan out your activities, tick them off, and never miss a deadline.

If you have a big assignment or a test to study for, try breaking the work down into “bite-sized” pieces. Write what you will do each day or week. Mark off completed items.

Of course, if you use a digital calendar on your phone, you also need to practice responsible use of technology. We will discuss that next.

Use Tech Responsibly

Modern technology can be a real asset to your academic success. It can also help you avoid some forms of procrastination.

We’ve already talked about using a digital calendar to plan your day, week, and month so that you never miss an assignment deadline. The internet can also help you avoid procrastinating on research. For example, you may come across an unfamiliar word during your studies. You might hesitate to take the time to get out a dictionary, but now, you can use a Google search or a dictionary app on your phone – immediately. Making this a habit can increase your reading comprehension and, over time, your grade point average.

Similarly, you can use online libraries and trusted reference sources to look up information, rather than procrastinating about a trip to the local library.

It is important to keep yourself informed about advances in technology that may help you academically or that are related to your field of study. For example, have you gamified your learning?

Gamify Your Study Session

Gamification is a motivational technique that can help you stop procrastinating when it comes to studying. It is what it sounds like – the addition of game-like features or incentives to your study session.

There are many apps that gamify learning which you can use to supplement your classes. For example, if you are learning a language, you can “play” on apps like Babbel or Duolingo, which award points and other incentives for completing tasks.

You can also use flashcard apps to gamify practically any subject. Or, create your own incentives with a Pomodoro timer. Your “reward” for completing 25 minutes of work might be a quick nap or a stretch during the 5-minute break.

Don’t Get Distracted

Technology can be helpful, but it can also cause procrastination – if you let it. When studying, consider putting your phone on “do not disturb” to avoid social media and app updates. Set time limits for yourself so that your quick research doesn’t become hours of mindless scrolling on social media.

Key Takeaways

The modern world is full of distractions, and we are used to jumping from one task to the next or actively distracting ourselves from the less exciting tasks we have to do. Follow these pointers to help you get into better habits.

  • Organize your materials so you don’t forget them.
  • Keep a calendar of due dates.
  • Use your tech for research and gamification, but don’t let other entertainment distract you.
  • Consider putting your phone or other device into “do not disturb” mode.

 

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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