- Put the hardest homework at the top of your list. Why? Well, this allows you to kick it up a notch! You can start, move on, and then continue re-thinking it (starting gives it a place in the "depths" of your mind -- an inventive part of your mind) and then going back to it, to do more, so you won't get too bogged down, but it will have priority for the subconscious mind to work on it! See, you don't have to get stuck in that problem -- that might take all of your time:
Do a quick effort; make it a worthwhile try, then go onward to less demanding homework. Later, going back -- and seeing how you can improve the first one with fresh bits and pieces.
Open "secret back-channels" -- just starting, even if you have to come back to finish, gets your creativity to kick in (this gets dark recesses of your mind to really work for you!). Creative juices can be inspiring, refreshing, helpful!
Break it down. Make piecework; quickly overview the topic: scan!
~ Read headings, intro, maps, charts, pictures, captions, bold or italic lettering, footnotes, and chapter summaries to get ideas and perspectives/angles for ideas to start yourself thinking.
~ Begin your answer to each problem and essay question, by doing parts! How? Make a first sentence or step, do any logical, little bits and bites (go step-by-step).
~ Add a second thought/step and another -- each flowing from the previous one. Going one phrase or sentence at a time makes it possible to write or do something.
~ Skip some lines, to leave room to fill in later -- if you need to move on to another area.
To re-kick-start an answer: Read what you have already written/or have done to check it, and see what flows from there', to lead your thinking to your next thought/step, and so on.
- Take advantage of any holidays or vacations that may be coming near as a motivator. On a Thursday, remind yourself that it is almost the weekend, and the moment this homework assignment is done you'll be one moment closer. Remember that Thanksgiving, winter break, or summer break is nearing, and the moment your homework is done you can enjoy it to its fullest.
- Think of it this way: if you procrastinate, you're spending time worrying about the task in addition to the time you actually do it. If you just take action and complete it as soon as you think of it, then you'll have more time to relax.
Work smarter, not harder. A fried brain absorbs little information. Break up your homework time into chunks. Take regular breaks. Set a timer; take a five to ten minute break for each hour you study. Get up, stretch, and move around. Drink water and eat a little fruit: water will refresh your system, and half an apple provides a better effect than a sugary energy drink.
Think of the consequences. What will happen, if you don't do your homework? Will you get a bad grade? Will your teacher be disappointed in you? If none of these things seem to apply to you, remember that homework is to help you learn, which everyone ultimately wants. In the real world, knowledge helps you master the rules of the game.
Think of the benefits. What will happen, if you do your homework? You'll probably get a good grade. Your teacher will appreciate your efforts. You have learned a great deal, and you'd be paving your way for a better life simply by putting your pencil to paper! Putting yourself in a positive state will reap in the benefits and ultimately surge you with the energy and hope to focus back on your work, and even enjoy what you're doing!
Find a place with less distraction. Set up your special study place. No friends, television, or other potential distractions should be present. Your homework place should also have a hard surface, like a table, to write on. If you need to do some of your homework on a computer, as many high school students do, make sure to avoid chat programs, unrelated websites, etc. If you have difficulty keeping focused, or awake, consider doing your homework at the library, at a table with some amount of foot traffic passing by it. The quiet atmosphere will help you focus, the surrounding mild activity will help keep you from falling asleep, and if you get stuck, there are those helpful librarians and references.
- Don't go on a cleaning binge as a way to procrastinate. Focus only on where you'll be working, and leave it at that.
Find a homework partner. Make sure this person isn't one of your crazy friends who'll distract you. Find someone to sit with who is quiet and focused. This will help you feel comfortable working, because someone else is working along with you. Just be sure not to end up talking more than working.
Create your own learning method. Everybody learns at their own pace and uses different methods to help memorize the material. Some find walking helpful, while others like to listen to music while they study. Whatever it is, experiment until you find something that seems to work well for you.
Listen to some quiet music (optional). Listening to music and studying does not work for everyone. If you are going to listen to music, try to listen to classical music or instrumental songs. Or if classical isn't for you, just pick quiet songs that you don't know, and start working, so you don't get caught up in the words.
Exercise briefly during each study break. It will help relieve tension, clear your mind, help you focus and make you feel awake. For example, walk around, stretch, do jumping jacks, or jog in place.
Make a routine. A routine will get you into doing homework as a habit. Schedule times and days so you are totally organized as to what you're doing this week, the next, and even the week afterwards. Surprises will occur, but at the very least, you know what you're doing!
- Put your phone, computer, and anything else that might distract you far from your reach. Then stay in a quiet room where you know you won't get distracted. Keep a timer for every 30 minutes to an hour, so you know how long you've been working and can still keep track of time.
Prioritize. Divide your homework according to your ability in the subject. If you're not so good, do it first. If it's an easy assignment, take a break and do it in 15 minutes or so, then get working again! If it's a long-term project, do it last. Not that it's not as important, but you need to save your time for the things with near-due-dates.
Get some success: you might prefer to get one or two easy tasks over-with at the start of a homework session, saving the hard stuff for last. Diving right into the hard stuff can be discouraging, and studies show that many people learn well when they start with easier material and work up to the harder stuff. Getting a few easy tasks done quickly can remind you of how good it feels to be productive. Some people, however are more motivated to dig into the hardest stuff first. It will make the rest seem like a breeze. Find out what works best for you.
Use simpler problems to find the steps to do harder solutions. Most problems can be broken down into simpler problems. That's a key to try on most math and science work and exams.
So what are you waiting for, get to your homework!!
How to Procrastinate
Procrastination – the art of avoiding required tasks by allocating tremendous importance on actions more useless, mundane, or interesting. Procrastination is generally considered unproductive, and many teachers, bosses, and managers take great pains to point out it delays the inevitable and places a spanner in the works of completing tasks.
Yet, have you ever considered the benefits of procrastinating? There are actually some good reasons to procrastinate, as you'll discover when learning how to master the art of procrastination, all for the greater personal good of course! Although intuition can be wrong, doesn't our heart tell us that something so natural and widespread in mankind could not exist without benefit?
Note: While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for successful procrastination, the following steps aim to provide a helpful steer. Coming up with your own beneficial methods of procrastinating is a form of procrastination in itself!
1Contemplate the reasons that make procrastination a good thing to add to your daily tasks.Time management experts (and a considerable number of bloggers nowadays) insist that procrastination is the worst enemy of mankind, and that allowing it to pervade your life results in inevitable nails-biting, hair-shredding, and not-doing-the-best-you-can-ing, all of which lead to poorly performed last-minute work. Anti-procrastinators are ready with scoldings, admonishing you with the potential for failure. Turn this apparent "problem" around by considering the benefits of procrastinating:
- You can percolate a lot of ideas. Instead of snapping to it and methodically working through the task, a procrastinator could very well be allowing the ideas to percolate, mature, and bubble to the surface in a much more inspired and fascinating form.
- You can avoid problems as much as create them. Jumping right in and doing something without thinking through the consequences and finding the weaknesses can bring about new problems and delays. Procrastinating can provide the thinking buffer space to find what can go wrong and to find ways around that. Equally, procrastinating can unearth all the things that never really needed doing anyway - think how many times you've been glad you didn't jump to it when asked and how that saved you from a lot of trouble because either someone else did it, or it ended up not being a good idea to do it anyway.
- You might be using procrastination to protect yourself when you're not ready to do something. If you lack the skills, the courage, or the experience, procrastination can prevent you from leaping in where you're just plain incompetent or not capable.
- Procrastination can allow an unpalatable idea or task to grow on you. If you've been putting it off because you hate it, or don't want to be associated with it, procrastinating can provide the time needed to get used to it and to eventually settle in to a place of acceptance that lets you get on without feeling disinterested or even hostile about being involved in something.
- Procrastination can give you the time needed to build up the energy needed to proceed with gusto when you do get going.
- For people whose work is principally cerebral based, doing something practical (with the hands) is often a much-needed break from the depths of intellectualizing everything.
- Think about all the other things that are getting done as you avoid the procrastinated task!
2Listen to your procrastination. Procrastination happens for a reason, as much as any other task-impacting attitude. Aside from the possible reasons outlined in the previous step, learning to listen to your procrastination can be a way of listening to your inner feelings when you would rather put that challenging task on hold. Is it possible that your procrastination is telling you one of the following?:
- What you're doing is genuinely boring and even if it has to be done, perhaps there are better ways of doing it? Ways that don't necessarily involve you, or you on your own?
- What you're doing isn't your strength or even interest. Perhaps you're studying the wrong field because your parents told you to become a doctor or lawyer but you wanted to be an artist? Or perhaps you're working in the wrong job because you liked the sound of the company until you joined it and realized what you're really in for?
- What you're doing is riddled with inconsistencies, weaknesses, errors, and blatant inaccuracies but to fix these would take a lot of effort or even explaining to the boss and you know it's way over your ability to fix.
- What you're doing is no longer a strength of yours because you've moved on mentally and experience-wise and you're ready for a new challenge.
- What you're doing is objectively pointless, and there are probably really much better things you could be expending your energies on. You just need to find the right way to explain this to the boss, teacher, or client...
3Think about the value of deadlines to you. Deadlines are the fuel of procrastination. And even though deadlines are often couched in terms of self-discipline and personal blame when they're missed or poorly met, they're less about virtuous behavior and more about achieving conforming behavior, which is often the reason why some people hate meeting them – there is an element of resentment or rebellion against being made to meet someone or something else's determined time. For other people though, deadlines bring out their best and bring on the adrenaline pump needed to dig in and pull out the inner genius that produces outstanding work at the last minute. And if you have work that is lackluster and routine, a deadline can sometimes be truly the only source of motivation to bring about its completion. Recognizing how you value or cope with deadlines is part of procrastinating in a way that doesn't harm your own goals, efforts, and opportunities in the long run. Deadlines can be the procrastinator's friend if they're viewed in a positive light, as a source of eventual motivation and as a source of drawing out creativity.
- Work out your perfect equilibrium of brushing with deadlines and getting work done successfully. Once you know the absolute limit, use a balance of both deadlines and procrastination to your advantage.
4Slow down. Procrastination can be viewed as one means of putting the brakes on your speedy, out-of-control lifestyle or work pace. It can be the pathway to more thinking and less doing, something sadly lacking in our harried, over-filled modern lives.
- Stop admiring busy people and busy methodologies. These can give the impression of doing something when really, nothing's happening at all. At least when procrastinating, something else is happening!
- Allocate thinking time. Allow yourself to use this time to think through ideas, consequences, and the bigger picture.
- Enjoy the process and not the destination. Procrastinating allows you to immerse yourself in the process. Some of it's boring, some of it's rough, some of it's really enjoyable but all of it's a whole. Procrastination is like a thread weaving the entire process together, keeping it moving along toward its inevitable end point but allowing you to swim with the flow and enjoy life as you get there.
- Embrace distractions for what they are and let guilt fly.
- Recognize that a refreshed you works twice as hard and twice as focused upon return to the task at hand. Sticking with it without breaks, means losing sight of the forest for the trees as your perspective and enthusiasm turns stale.
- If other people want to negatively label your thinking-time procrastination, that's fine. Tell them that procrastination has become a positive, must-do in any modern achiever's life and watch their confusion.
Avoid excessive contemplation about the future. While a little consideration of the future is naturally essential for healthy living, obsessing about where you want to be in 5, 10, and 15 years' time can lead to burn-out, and can stick you on course for a narrow trajectory, focused always on the future, on the person you're planning to become instead of celebrating the person you already are. Procrastination requires that you live in the now, in the present, and don't let things like graduation, job loss, homelessness, and financial dependence cloud your thinking. Excessive worrying doesn't change anything but it can entrap you in a cycle of fear, marrying you to sub-standard work and living choices for the rest of your life because you're too afraid of the consequences of letting go of those initial sub-standard choices.
6Value leisure and work time equally. The true procrastinator sees equal value in both the video game and the thesis or work paper. This is balance in action and valuing them equally is a sign that you've got your priorities ordered toward both work and play, not all work and no play (which, as we all well know, makes a person dull of mind and heart).
- Balance procrastination with obligation. Life isn't either all easy cruising or all full throttle. Try to combine both elements in your life and allow distractions in rather than letting them become moments of guilt or worry.
Find ways to procrastinate. While procrastination is not really something you need to be told how to do, it can be incredibly reassuring to learn that you are not alone in doing the following motley and amusing procrastinating activities (and feel free to indulge in any of them), outlined in the next few steps.
8Get creative. Something as simple watching a fan blow your papers all over the room can keep you enthralled for hours. You can even draw all over your stomach.
- Stare at the mirror and make random faces. For starters, you could act like a monkey, just fold your lips inside and over your teeth, and jump around like a madman. If you can do this for a good half hour, you've been successful at wasting a good chunk of your time.
- Stare out the window. Notice what form the clouds are taking, people watch, count the arrival times of trains, watch the street being swept, and work out how long it'll take to reach the next corner, etc.
- Create your own laser light show.
9If you insist on the TV, make sure you check all the channels. One of the beauties of procrastination is that it creates interest where none existed before. For example, the cooking channel becomes the equivalent of late night Cinemax; or watch the Spanish channel and try to figure out what's being said.
- Always choose movies over TV shows. TV shows are an hour maximum, most half an hour (some specials, especially some reality shows, sporting events, and shows on the History Channel are two). Each time a show ends, it forces you to make a decision between work and more TV. If you're given that decision two times every hour, sooner or later you'll crack. Movies, on the other hand, are at least two hours, and since most channels string about three movies together, that is only three TV-work decisions in six hours!
- Worship Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and Jackie Chan. These three men are a procrastinator's dream, since their movies are a) always on TV, at any hour of the day or night; b) have plots that revolve around roundhouse kicks and gigantic explosions, letting the mind relax without having to cope with a complex story; and c) never mention any form of work. For example, Steven Seagal has never seen a cubicle, unless he was either killing someone in it, or blowing it up. For those who don't enjoy action movies, romantic comedies can act as a substitute, since they are all the same, and create the same mental lethargy.
10If the computer is your weapon of choice, always kill the ninja, always. If you see a pop-up that asks you to shoot, poke, prod, laser-blast, punch, kick, or place some object in something, play it immediately. Not only can you win free cool junk and spam, but there is a never-ending stream of these games. Also, you could go to comical websites to waste time. Websites like http://wikiofstuff.wikia.com/wiki/Wiki_Of_Stuff_Wiki allow you to read or write random articles without any restrictions.
- Click on any links you can find. This will allow you to access new and interesting information, that your mind will absorb instead of the work, clearing all thoughts of work right away.
- After following the above advice, you can procrastinate further by clearing your computer of the spyware, trojans, and viruses you'll no doubt accumulate. This could use up a LOT of time. Have fun!
- Access your favorite forum at least once in a half hour, and while checking out the posts, refresh the page every two seconds to check for new replies. This should pretty much keep you busy for a good while and keep you from doing real work. Have you checked your Farmville account lately?
- Browse wikiHow or Wikipedia. Go to a random page and click on the blue links (there are plenty in this article for starters). Not only will you procrastinate, you'll be learning at the same time!
Don't worry. If you spend all your time worrying about the work you haven't done, then you aren't enjoying your procrastination and you're missing the point of productively introducing procrastination into your life. Just let your mind rest, clear it of worries, and focus on enjoying the distractions. Work is only as serious as you make it. Procrastination lets you enjoy the little things in life that would otherwise pass you by. The grass is greener, the clouds are fluffier, and Seagal's boots are just a little bit more blood-soaked.
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Yes, I read the article
Isn't reading this wikiHow page considered procrastinating?
A sufficiently-talented procrastinator can find a way to explain why anything is somehow useful to the development of social and professional skills and knowledge. This article includes some very useful tips as to why procrastination may have some benefits after all. What benefits you makes you happier, healthier and more successful, and those are good qualities to bring to any work assignment.
Is procrastination bad for mental and physical health?
Getting things done can put your mind at ease. Procrastination can lead to stress as a result of not doing what needs to be done in a timely manner. Stress has been known to have negative effects on both mental and physical health.
Why is my life somehow lacking?
Maybe you are seeking something that you have yet to find. Try to figure out what that is, whether it be a relationship, adventure, socialization, or success. Whatever it is, we don't have much time on this floating rock, so go get what you want.
Ask a Question
- Chilling totally is not the same as procrastinating. Procrastinating is doing something else, even if that's thinking. Chilling is downtime, when nothing is meant to intrude on your peace, and definitely not worries about what else you ought to be doing.
- Procrastination becomes a true form of art when you are able to use procrastination to totally erase any guilt you feel about not having completed your work. If the paper is three weeks late and you're going out drinking, you've figured it out.
- Write a list. The next time you find yourself procrastinating, write a quick list of "Why I like to procrastinate". You might surprise yourself as to the reasons that are going down on the list, as there could be impetus to re-prioritize a lot of things in your life!
- If it's homework, don't procrastinate. You'll miss out on sleep.
- There is procrastination, and there is procrastination. If procrastination is halting your progress along your intended path in life, then it's unhealthy. Good procrastination is an aid to uncovering what really motivates you and what makes you enjoy the here and now. If all it does is cause you to give up on anything, then it's self-sabotage rather than procrastination. Be sure to get the balance right and avoid harming your own chances of getting your life well sorted.