Raise Your Voice Column: Turn procrastination into motivation

Raise+Your+Voice+Column%3A+Turn+procrastination+into+motivation

I am about as productive as someone trying to herd cats when it comes to online school. You might think that is an exaggeration, and boy, do I wish it was. 

Now, I have always had a struggle with time management and self-discipline, especially when it comes to homework or really anything I don’t want to do. The thing is, I have been able to skate through that stuff by finishing it at school or last minute.

Except, I can’t now, and probably shouldn’t regardless. 

Wednesdays are days I struggle often with time management, the lack of synchronous classes makes it hard. 

I devised an easy way to balance my time, and it only requires a stopwatch. Before I start doing any work I make a list of what other tasks I have to do or want to do. 

For example, maybe I want to clean my room, do laundry, go for a run, and read a book. Then I think about my school work I need to finish, I build intervals around those lists. I typically work on school for 30 minutes and then my other tasks for 20 minutes. I avoid having intervals longer than 40 minutes though.

Something else I do typically for homework is a reward system. Normally a big part of the reason you don’t want to do something is because you sometimes can get stuck on wanting to do things you enjoy instead. 

Some days it is hard to suppress those urges, mainly because I tend to hyperfocus on them at times. Which is when the reward system comes in and is the most effective. 

Set goals for your work and supplement those goals with rewards for accomplishing them. For example if you are really stuck on wanting to play a game on your phone then tell myself that once you get 8 problems done you can play for 20 minutes.

The reward system is a tactic I learned from numerous teaching and parenting websites, I figured if it works for little kids why can’t it work for anyone. I also read articles about productivity to try and find new tactics to try. 

A website I have recently discovered that is helpful is Author James Clear’s website.   

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are trying to learn virtually or if you fall far behind. You can’t focus on everything at once and expect to be successful, that’s why you need to break things down. Focus on one thing and only that thing until you’re done.

I tend to procrastinate assignments that are difficult or require a lot of effort in thinking. If you too tend to find yourself doing things last minute then this tip is just for you. Rank your assignments in order of difficulty, with the most difficult one being first. That way you get the hard ones out of the way when you have the most brain power and you can count on it being easier as you go.

I hate being wrong, very much. This gets in my way on some assignments, so I just put them off as long as possible. There is a simple solution for this, just go for it. In the end it is better to turn something in and get a few points knocked off for being wrong then to get a zero or turn it in late.

Sometimes it is what is around you that makes it hard to work efficiently. If your work area is messy and cluttered then it might make your brain feel that way too. Start by putting your phone or anything else that distracts you. Then make sure your room or table or whatever you work at is clear and clean. Another way to be more productive is to dress like you want to be productive.

I used to not have a place to do schoolwork so I would work on it in my bed. This is terribly ineffective at times.

You need to dedicate a place to working so that your brain knows that it is time to be productive when you sit there.

The most helpful way to get stuff done, is to find little ways to make it fun. I do my notes and certain assignments with different color pens because I like seeing all the colors. Doing little things like that can make tasks seem less daunting.

I believe in you and by committing to a few of these tips you may find more success at school.