Updated: Apr 13
It is that time again. The time where coffee is our best friend and all nighters are no strangers. After four months of learning and growing, it is now time to study and get tested for what has been learned; yes, it is time for final exams.
Even after going through all the assignments and studying hard for our exams, procrastination may still be our worst enemy. Sure, some of us need a certain amount of pressure to be able to work, however the end product does not always reflect our actual abilities and understanding of the material. On the other hand, some of us simply can’t say no to our constant need of dopamine through Tik Tok, video games, novels, friends, and hobbies. And by the time we look at our calendars again, that 5 page essay is due and that chemistry exam is approaching. This affects our grades, mental health, and physical health. But fear not! In this article, I will share three tips that have helped me battle procrastination and use my time wisely. Procrastination will be dealt with once and for all (Note: most of these tips were collected from episodes of Kwik Brain hosted by Jim Kwik, and Rewire Your Brain by Jacob King)
1. Schedule Procrastination
I know, this sounds silly. But hear me out. One of the reasons we procrastinate is our constant need for entertainment. I’m sure many of us have heard that “technology is ruining the world” talk. As annoying or pushy as it may be sometimes, this statement has some truth to it. Platforms like YouTube, systems like Playstations and services like
Amazon feed our constant search to be entertained. Hence, our brain becomes addicted and tries to escape to these mediums when facing challenges like writing a research proposal or building a project for physics. It is a coping mechanism! Now, scheduling time to allow our brain to escape from all these assignments and tedious projects, we allow ourselves to cope
with the situation and “recharge” our brains.
2. Start Small
This is my favorite tip out of all of them. When dealing with procrastination, we try to set these huge end goals that we will probably not be able to reach all out once. You want to start out small to get the momentum going. Even if it is just to build certain habits, starting small is the best way to reach goals. Say you want to start building the habit of washing the dishes right after you eat. You don’t want to tell yourself that you will wash the entire pile of dishes sitting in the sink. Your brain will scare itself and put it off as a way to avoid it. Instead, tell yourself that you will only wash two dishes. At first, you’ll notice that you will wash two dishes and then go on to doing what you had planned. However, as time progresses, you will find yourself washing more and more until you leave the sink cleaned. As many physicists argue, the hardest part is not continuously pushing the rock, it is to get it moving in the first place.
3. Reward Yourself
I’m pretty sure you have heard this one before; it is that powerful! Rewarding yourself should not always be about buying the most expensive gifts or going to the most exotic places. It can be as simple as buying your favorite ice cream after completing that assignment. For instance, I love sushi. Everytime I follow my schedule perfectly or almost perfectly, I reward myself by buying myself a dynamite roll at the end of the week. However, on weeks in which I slack off a little bit, I do not get myself some sushi even if I am craving it. By doing this, we have both a goal and reward to discipline ourselves. If you eat your favorite ice cream even after procrastinating, your brain may relate unproductivity to rewards – something you definitely want to avoid
All in all, in the spirit of final exams season, our brains may seek one more game, one more video, or one more purchase and try to put things off until it hits us in the face. However, you could battle this tendency by scheduling it, starting small, and rewarding yourself. Good luck on your exams (:
Article by Daniel Mendoza
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