It’s easy to start off the academic term with a clean workspace, neat planner, and a well-thought-out revision schedule. However, once the essay, IA, and EE due dates start coming into view, it becomes easier to ignore those pressing deadlines, and watch yet another episode of The Good Place or whatever Netflix just released. Believe me, I’ve been there too. Here are some tips on how I was able to stop procrastinating when I was doing IB:
1. Forgive yourself
There’s no use criticizing and hating yourself for procrastinating. If anything, this just wastes even more time which you could use to actually get some work done. You procrastinated, that’s fine—let’s actually do something now!
2. Ditch your phone
Whether you turn your phone off completely or leave it in another room, make sure it is out of your sight. If you place it somewhere you can see, that itch to check if there’s another notification will get too big and soon, you’ll find yourself procrastinating and scrolling through Instagram for another 3 hours.
3. Break down large projects into smaller tasks
Do you have a 4000-word essay to write? (*cough* EE *cough*) Get a piece of paper or online document and break it down into all the smaller sections that make up that essay: introduction, the different sections with possible subheadings, conclusion, appendix etc. Set yourself reasonable goals such as “Today, I’m going to spend 30 minutes drafting the context section of my EE.” (If you want to learn more about how to do well in EE, check out how our grads approached it.)
4. Done is better than perfect
Often, the fear of not being able to write something good enough stops you from starting. It’s so easy to write a first draft and judge yourself over how terrible your content is—but even the best essays and academic journals in the world go through multiple amounts of editing and drafting. Quit editing while you’re writing. Just finish your work, and I’m sure that once it gets to your supervisor for a look through, you will get feedback and improve. You can also ask your friends for their thoughts on your draft!
5. Start today
Don’t say “I started this week off on a bad note, I’ll be productive starting on Monday.” Every minute counts. Who cares what you did this morning? You can’t change that—you can only control what you do right now. So get rid of distractions and get working!