It was interesting to read about people's procrastination problems in the comments below last Saturday's lesson. I think we all experience these problems when we're trying to do something difficult.
Here are five tips that help me to fight procrastination:
- Just make a start. If you've been procrastinating about writing an essay, for example, make it your goal to write the first sentence only. The hardest thing is to get started, and the idea of writing a full essay can be daunting. Put this idea out of your mind, and focus instead on writing just one sentence.
- Find a nice place. Whenever I have some difficult writing to do, I find it much easier to get started if I'm sitting in a café with a cup of coffee. It doesn't feel like such hard work when you're in a nice environment.
- Aim lower (at first). Sometimes our frustration is caused by the high expectations that we have. Instead of jumping into a 10-hour-a-day study programme, it's better to start with 10 minutes, then gradually do more each day.
- Get some help. It's hard to study alone, so try to find a study partner, teacher or someone who can occasionally check your progress and give you advice.
- Form a daily habit. For me, doing something every day is the ultimate weapon in the fight against procrastination. Doing something once a week (or even 5 times a week) doesn't work as well. There's something magic about daily practice: when a daily action becomes as normal as brushing your teeth, big changes start to happen!