Studying fully online is rewarding because it allows you to organize your own time. You can allocate the place and the time, do the work, and then you’re free. You can work, train, socialize, play or do whatever you need or want. There is little pressure to fit your schedule in with someone. So, along with a price tag far more affordable than that of remote or in-person studies, self-organization is the top perk.
But it may be the deepest pitfall, as well. You can nearly always say something to yourself to delay studying. I’m too tired after work, and I’ll relax for just another 15 minutes. I’ll begin as soon as I see what happens on this episode of the Blacklist. Then as soon as this match finishes. We’ve had rain for two weeks; I’ll sit just another half hour in the sun. I’ll get to it as soon as I finish this chat. I lost seven PUBG games, and I’ll start as soon as I finally win one.
All that goes into a single folder labeled: Procrastination.
I’ll do it – Only Not Now
Procrastination is non-action. The word comes from the Latin “pro” and “castrinus,” a composite essentially meaning “moving forward tomorrow.” And when there’s no one to whip you into work at a specific time, it’s all too easy to take another five. And turn it into 15, 30, 45… and into a whole day.
Most of us – no, all of us are procrastinating all the time. It is natural, wanting to enjoy another moment away from work. Even if we know we shouldn’t. This blog, for instance, is coming out under time pressure because of the sunny weather. And it’s alright, sometimes. But distractions are all around us, and it’s too easy to slip into the mode of perpetual procrastination.
So, how do we fight and defeat it?
First of all, you need to recognize and acknowledge it’s happening to you. The more you delay studying, the harder it’ll be to admit it to yourself. It isn’t totally unlike much more dangerous problems of addiction. But it’s important to acknowledge it because that’s akin to identifying a foe.
In itself, procrastination isn’t a habit. But it can become one, a SMART Recovery study indicates. “Procrastination is one reason why smart people repeat self-defeating patterns. Another is in not recognizing the procrastination habit and its complexities,” it says.
The paper ties procrastination, as a habit, to deeper problems and conditions, including depression. If you recognize that you have underlying issues, it may require outside professional assistance.
But the past 14 or so months have been incredibly stressful at an unprecedented scale. The pandemic has locked billions of people. All of them had to kill time with whatever was and is at their disposal, be it social networks, a game, chatting, or something else. In most cases, for hours on end.
Snap Out of It
Though the pandemic turned out more persistent than the majority anticipated, it will expire. But even as it lasts, time didn’t stop, and each deadline missed, every study hour postponed adds to the to-be-done stack. That disheartens and discourages many from taking the step and dealing with tasks, including studying. It affects even people who work alongside studies. After all, their paycheck depends on a done job, while the reward of a degree lies in the future, so studying is easier to push back.
If you have a schedule that you’re perpetually shifting, if the tasks are mounting – sit a little longer and think. What is it that’s keeping you from taking care of commitments on time? You’ll probably not find a defendable cause for it. Next, pick a fighting strategy to fight procrastination. And then get to it. It won’t be easy, and you should look for advice. But use the search for the “best” strategy to procrastinate!
Studying guru Daniel Wong deals with the issue of student procrastination, along with many others. In one blog, he lists nearly two dozen tips. But even a few basic tips will help. For instance, he suggests breaking the overwhelming pile of outstanding jobs into individual tasks. We can call that “baby steps.” Reward yourself with some time off, but only on completion of a task.
Create a study routine and stick to it. The longer and further you drifted from it, the harder it’ll be to return your studying to the top gear. Another tip is to study in bursts, for a short time but hard. And understand it will be a demanding process – just as when you return to running after a long pause.
And for Motivation? Keep Your Goal in Sight
There are many more tips. Read through them, maybe from several sources. But you need to understand that none of the tips is a trick, a hack, or a shortcut. You will have to do all the work, eventually. If you don’t, that pile – on your desk, in your organizing application, or simply in your head – may ultimately defeat you. To ensure an opposite outcome, remember the prize you’re looking for.
It’s a degree, a verification of an education and skills that will help you have a better life.