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Putting off important tasks until later is a common feature of university life especially as university work is often complex and difficult, and there are so many other distractions. Recognising why and how we procrastinate can help us get round the barriers to getting started.
Knowing yourself and your own tendencies can help you find strategies that work for you. See the guide below from the Wellbeing team with explanations for why we procrastinate and practical strategies. Brookes has also partnered with Togetherall to provide 24 hr access to online mental health support for students. Togetherall have an online course on procrastination if you’d like further resources. Register for Togetherall and go to the courses section.
We assume procrastination is a problem with time management, but it is more about managing the emotions we feel about the tasks. A new diary is not going to overcome the dread of starting, but recognising your emotional response will help you challenge this reaction. This article explores why procrastination is emotional and what this means for overcoming it.
Sometimes we need tricks to reassure us and encourage us to get going. Freewriting can overcome the feeling that it has to be perfect. The Pomodoro technique can overcome the feeling that we have to work non-stop all day.
Make it impossible to do any displacement activities so you have to do your work. If you’re always on your phone, install a blocker like App Block to limit your browsing time until you’re done.