Procrastination goes hand in hand with demotivation. Not sure which one comes first, it may be one of those “Chicken-and-egg”* situations where it is not clear what triggers what. Does putting things off create demotivation? Or, is it the other way around?
In any case, something to keep away from. But how to navigate it? The logic says that after a long working day, having to complete a written assignment about pollution or catch up on your phrasal verb study are not the most appealing prospects. However, putting homework off, as a rule, will only consume more extra energy from you and add a feeling of slackness and guilt.
Three thoughts here:
1- Take the bull by the horns
Let’s illustrate this point with an example
Write a report about current sports facilities in your city and indicate in what ways your city can be improved in that regard.
This task itself looks a bit arduous if you are not used to writing reports and sports facilities are something you are not even remotely interested in.
No wonder some students put it off till the last minute and then do the job quickly just before it is time to hand it in or in many cases, never hand it in at all because their quick last-minute attempt was not presentable. Does it ring true for you? That is a real pity, and an unnecessary waste of energy and time beating oneself off for not doing it. It’s understandable but you are not doing yourself a favour
Ways to tackle this:
- Channel your energy in the right direction.
Set a time for the task on a day well before the deadline and keep remorse at bay. In other words, make sure that by starting soon enough you don’t waste any time feeling guilty and use that time more productively. Thus, you will get rid of the nagging thoughts: I have to do it; It’s too hard, I’ll do it tomorrow; Oh no, I’m running out of time.
This hands-on attitude will unequivocally lead you in the right direction, straight into the second point.
2- Action creates momentum
When you manage to get yourself in the right frame of mind to set in motion, the completion of tasks can be energising in itself. Say that you have set your mind to doing three exercises in your self-study book every day. If you stick to it, sooner or later you are very likely to be driven to want to do more. A word of warning here. If you are an avid language learner you’ll have to watch your step and not overdo it to the point of overburdening yourself. Learning can be addictive too. Try to find the right balance where enjoyment and learning walk side by side.
3- Find your prime time
Early bird or night owl, which one are you? If you are a morning person, sometime early in the day would be your ideal timing whereas a night person will find it less of an effort to devote some evening time. If you are neither one nor the other, try different times of the day and see what works for you. Ideally, this should be a moment when you can be on your own, without any interruptions, either coming from outsiders, which sometimes can’t be helped or distractions within our own control (phone, Facebook, etc).
Acknowledgement: Door image from Pixabay.