10 Steps to prevent procrastination

By Samantha de Villiers  

It’s that time of the year again: increased levels of stress, decreased levels of attention and an overwhelming need to re-tidy your room every few days. Exam stress is slowly creeping its way back into our lives and the familiar feelings of anxiety and procrastination culminate as November approaches. Here are a few tips to help you steer away from falling into the luring trap of procrastination – or finding it if you prefer.  

1. Meal times are the perfect procrastination tool. Yes, we do need to eat but spending over an hour stocking up on one’s toast intake is not necessary. Try to allocate a time limit to meal time and stick to it.


2. Divide the day into three sets of eight hours: eight hours for sleep, for work and eight for play.


3. “Fight Club” is a worthy waste of time but use it to your advantage. Give yourself a goal and reward yourself with a movie or something if you achieve it.


4. Facebook utility rates soar during exam time for obvious reasons. Limit your time logged on to maybe once every few days.


5. Summer is here and the pool looks fabulous! But do not be tempted by the sparkling turquoise water and scantily clad students lounging around. If you do pay the pool a visit, take some readings or notes to look over while you’re there, so it’s not a total waste of time.


6. If you’re one of those who eat when it comes to stress or when you’re bored, do not stock up on half of Pick ‘n Pay! Only get the essentials: coffee and Bioplus.


7. We’ve established that summer is here, so the excuse to visit the gym religiously is a good one. Exercising is great during exams but rather wake up a bit earlier than let it eat into your work time.


8. If you’re still in res, book breakfast – it gives you an incentive to wake up and gets you going early!


9. If you’re anything like the average Rhodent, the smallest distraction gets your mind away from work. Try learning away from res or digs, go to the botanical gardens or somewhere you can concentrate.


10. Finally, keep in mind the hardest part of preventing procrastination is the initial five minutes, so just start, it will get easier from there!


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