This column is brought to you by a second-year writing and film student, who is hoping to save those of you who are struggling with surviving university. The column is devoted to inspiring, motivating, and providing endless support to anyone who needs it, and you can find it all in Glassie’s very own scrapbook.
This first article is written by Alesia Argelliez
In my final year of high school, I reached a low point where I was struggling to believe in myself and thought I wouldn’t get accepted into my dream university. At the time, I wished I could find a spark of motivation or inspiration to finish my assignments and chase that dream. Fast-forward to the present, and I’m in my second year at said dream university and I find myself truly loving what I’m studying.
Wonder how I got here? By following the plan of attack! Continue reading to find out my top six tips for beating procrastination – our biggest enemy yet.
Start Attack Early
Remember in high school when they handed out an assignment and said, “start tonight”? And then you would get into that habit of saying “oh that assignment isn’t due for ages”, and you would put it off until the week before the due date. Well, in university, that tactic won’t get you far or do you any good. According to Vanessa Loder, a lifestyle writer for Forbes who writes about motivation, productivity, and mindfulness, says that once you start something, you’re much more likely to finish it. This is due to a psychological phenomenon called the Zeigarnik effect, which basically means that unfinished tasks are more likely to get stuck in your memory. One of my biggest tips for students is to get into the habit of starting your assignments the week you receive them. Time goes by super-fast, and that due date is much closer than you think! Then once you start that assignment, you can just slowly chip away at it.
Break It Down
This brings me to my next point; you know how the assignment seems challenging and scary at first glance? Well, if you break it down into smaller tasks, it will be a lot less daunting, and you will get it done faster. Instead of trying to get the whole thing done all at once, just tackle one task at a time. It makes the whole process of doing an assignment less exhausting and less demanding.
Just Do It
My friends in high school would always complain and stress about their assignments. Sometimes they would end up spending more time complaining and stressing than actually sitting down and doing the assignment. This brings me to my third tip for battling procrastination – stop complaining about the assignment and doubting yourself, and just do it! On that note, if you need help, go find your answer by asking your tutor, or your classmates, searching through the endless Canvas’ resources, or simply by googling it!
This one is my favourite. I’m a nerd for writing lists for anything from A to Z. Breaking down a huge assignment, writing separate tasks to complete by certain deadlines and then ticking it off is so satisfying and ends up motivating you to continue working and completing your assignments. However, make sure you set realistic goals, so you don’t waste time stressing when you don’t need to. I’m not a dork, trust me, they do work! And don’t be boring, make your to-do lists creative, colourful, and fun.
Now, we’re all bound to get distracted when completing hard tasks but where there’s a problem, there is always a solution. My advice for avoiding distractions is literally creating a distraction-free environment. This can be anywhere you want; outside on the patio, in your bedroom, at the library, or in the dining room. However, you need to be able to physically remove the distractions. For example, closing the door, putting on earphones to block out any external noise, putting your phone on silent or in another room, or cleaning your desk. Remember, a clear space means a clear mind.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? After completing a task (bonus if you completed it before that deadline you made) make sure to reward yourself! Go for a night out, a cheeky shopping trip, or a day off from uni. This will motivate you to get future assignments and tasks done. Crossing something off your to-do list and having chocolate? Sounds like a win-win to me!
In the battle against procrastination, a big part is having the right mindset and attitude to getting the job done. At university, you won’t be able to survive without beating procrastination. Don’t just read this article and think you’ve done the hard bit; you’ve only done the first step. From here, go home and do it, start today with reading the task sheet of that assignment you’ve been avoiding. Hopefully, these six tips will take you all the way to your graduation day. You’ll definitely thank me later. And please share these tips with your friends, classmates, and siblings!
Meet Alesia Argelliez, a short, chatterbox who studies a Bachelor of Creative Industries, double majoring in Creative Writing and Screen Media. She became Glassie’s very first intern for this year in September. She loves writing screenplays, short stories and poetry about either rom-coms or psychological thrillers, as well as creating short films. When she’s not creating cool stuff, she’s either at the beach, hiking, eating Mexican and Italian food, going to Aussie Indie Rock gigs, or doing Ju Jitsu.