Tips to Tackle Procrastination

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Oh procrastination. The thing that we all do in college. The absolute effort of studying for exams. It’s just such a pain. You get so used to putting it off until the last second and then you’re sweating trying to get everything done. Well, fortunately for you, I’m here to give you some tips to help you stop procrastinating and to focus on getting your work done over the exam period.

Organise yourself:

Write down all the exams you need to study for and what date the exam is. You can then see how much time you have between each exam and can organise what to prioritise. If you’re a morning person, get up early and try to get through all your studying so you can take it easy later in the day. Or if you like your sleep like me, aim to get up before 12pm and try focus on studying for a couple of hours so you can free up your evening.

Set deadline:

If having a deadline helps to motivate you, try set yourself some mini deadlines to help push you to study. For example:

  • Finish studying for the day by 5pm.
  • Cover all the material for your module by the end of the week.
  • Time yourself practising exam questions over a 2-hour period.

Avoid distractions:

Find a good place to study where you won’t be distracted. You might find it easier to concentrate in a library, a coffee shop, or a quiet space on campus than at home. It’s also a good idea to turn on “do not disturb” on your phone and laptop when you’re studying so you don’t get notifications coming in while you’re trying to concentrate. If you find that hard to do, there are some apps you can use to help you concentrate:

The Forest app rewards you for not touching your phone by growing trees, which expand into beautiful forests the more you study and keep away from your phone.

Take regular breaks:

Don’t study for the whole day, you’ll end up getting tired and won’t be able to absorb any information you’re looking at. Instead, try do it in small chunks of time. Studies have shown that most people retain information up to 40 minutes, so you can study on a topic for that amount of time and give yourself a 5–10-minute break before going back to it. If 40 minutes is too long for you, try 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. You can really rack up the time studying if you do this.

Reward yourself after you complete a task:

Take a chance to chill in between study sessions. You could go for a walk, make some of your favourite food, watch an episode of whatever show you’re watching, whatever makes you happy. Just make sure that you can get back to studying after you do this so you don’t waste the day.

Finish difficult tasks first:

We all have that one module that we find harder than the rest of your modules. Prioritise studying for this module first if you’re comfortable with your other modules so you don’t have to stress about the exam. Practising past exam questions are your best bet for studying so you can get an idea what might be asked. You can find some past exam papers in the library, or you can ask your lecturer if they have any sample questions they could give you.

Ask someone to keep a check on you:

It’s always nice to have someone check up on you during the exam period. It’s a stressful time so it’s important to look out for one another. You can ask someone from your family to check up on you if you’re studying at home, or you could do a group study session with your friends so you can all focus and keep an eye out for each other. It can be nice to have someone there for you to help you relax over the exam period, even if it’s just a text to see how you are doing.

Hopefully these tips will help you from procrastinating over the exam period. If you need any advice or support over the next few weeks, feel free to email any of the Student’s Union Officers or email advice@tudublinsu.ie. TU Dublin SU wishes you all the very best of luck in your exams and we hope you have an amazing summer!

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