It is the night before your final exam, you’re in the library cramming in all the information you can and you feel like you are going to have to pull an all nighter. At the same time, you wonder how the heck you got in this position in the first place.
Does this sound familiar? I was a big procrastinator when I started undergrad and I found myself in a similar position for a lot of my exams. I still managed to do well, but I knew that once dental school started, I would have to change my routine.
Here are five things that helped me quit my procrastinating habits:
1. Put Yourself in a Good Environment
The environment around you can have a big influence on your work ethic. If you were going to start a research paper that is due in a week, but everyone around you is going out, suddenly that week can seem a lot longer than it actually is.
If you surround yourself around procrastinators, there is a good chance you will be a procrastinator too. Instead, surround yourself around people with goals similar to yours. It will make a big difference.
2. Set Daily Goals
The key here is to set realistic goals that you will accomplish every day. Not only will this help you stay organized with what to do, it will give you a sense of accomplishment as you go through each task.
I like to think of this as more like a checklist of things to do each day. For example, one of my daily checklists can include going to the gym, studying for a certain class, meeting with a professor, etc.
3. Remove Distractions
Removing distractions from your life can be really hard. Nowadays there are things all around us waiting to catch our eye.
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to search for something useful on youtube and ended up getting sidetracked and wasting an hour on a bunch of random videos that had nothing to do with what I was searching for.
It takes some effort, but it is amazing how much more you can get done if you limit distractions.
4. Reward Yourself When Deserved
This one is simple. If you get all your work done for the day, you should reward yourself. Go hang out with your friends or buy some ice cream. You’ve earned it!
5. Set Punishments
This one is important. If you are going to be rewarding yourself for completing your work, you also need to set a punishment if you don’t get your work done.
One punishment I set for myself was to take an ice cold shower every time I didn’t get my work done for the day. And I hate cold showers.
This seems harsh, but it works! Trust me.
But, you have to make sure you go through with your punishment every time! If you blow one off and just tell yourself you’ll complete your goals later, it won’t work. Before you know it, you can fall into a cycle and go right back to procrastinating.
Do you have any other strategies on dealing with procrastination? Leave them in the comments!
Dental Secrets is providing this information for informational purposes only. Please consult a dentist or health advisor for questions. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete or up to date. What I write is my opinion and is not meant to be any sort of health or dental advice.