Did you just do...nothing?

If you did super well in VCE then you probably know a thing or two about staying focused.

It can be sheer torture, right? That itchy, restless feeling that won’t go away until you’ve watched the latest @wakeupandmakeup posts (don’t go there, yet. Read on!).  Or when your brain whispers relentlessly that it that “wantschocolatewantschocolatewantschocolate…”

This my friends, is called Procrastination, and it’s an evil time-sucking creature that lives amongst us (but maybe not in the Upside Down coz you don’t dawdle ‘round there).

The dangerous thing about procrastination is that it can gain momentum quickly.

Delay your study once, and you have twice as much to do the next time. Having twice as much to do inevitably makes it more intimidating, and before you know it, you are watching kittens fall over on YouTube (and your study load is now three times as large)…if this continues you end up in a vortex of avoidance.

You must crush procrastination and here are some ways to do it:

Recognise that you’re procrastinating

Thank your mind for its interest in chocolate, and ask it to be please be patient.

With any sudden urge to do something else, recognise that this is procrastination and that you can satisfy its request when you’ve finished your study session.

Manage your time

We cover this in detail in our time-management article.

If you find your Procrastination is getting out of control, build time in to your Weekly Planner to appease it.

Break tasks down, and reward yourself

By splitting your tasks into smaller blocks of time you’ll be less likely to procrastinate. Being faced with an entire report is daunting, but splitting the report into sections (e.g. decide topic, research articles, write first draft, etc) then you’ll find it easier to stay focused.

When you’ve finished your block of study successfully take Procrastination out for an enjoyable activity.

Minimise distractions

When you need to get work done, avoid or remove the things that distract you. This can range from studying in a quiet room to physically removing the distraction: unplug the modem if you’re addicted to checking Facebook or email. This process can also help to get you into the right head space to study.

Get a support team (…and maybe a BMX)

Making your friends or family aware of your new process can help you stay on task.

Ask a friend to check that you’re staying on track, but make sure you choose friends who aren’t going to lead you astray… A good friend won’t make you feel guilty about not being able to drop what you’re doing and hang out with them instead.

Apply now for a High Achievers Scholarship.

If you're looking for more study skills advice click here.