In high school,
I never had a problem procrastinating and still getting my work done by the
time assignment deadlines rolled around. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be
able to keep this up once I got to college. So, during my first quarter at
Stanford, I made a conscious effort to change my study habits for the better.
Here are a few of the best tips I learned to stay focused on work and avoid
1. Remove all distractions. This is the simplest tip there is to
help you stay focused on your work. In my case, this means closing all of my
internet tabs open to social media sites and putting my phone on silent
whenever I sit down to study. If I am writing a paper, I find that Focus View on
Microsoft Word works well to limit my distractions. If I am working on a
written assignment, I usually just go ahead and turn my computer off so that I
don’t get tempted to scroll through my Facebook feed or spend time on other
similar sites. The next time you sit down to do some work, identify what
distracts you the most and remove those things from your study environment.
2. Set deadlines for yourself. I find that I work best when I know I
have a deadline coming up soon. My system involves breaking down each of my
assignments into manageable parts. I then set individual deadlines for each of
these parts, with the last deadline being the actual date that I need to turn
in the assignment. This ensures that I have enough time to do my best work on
each of the assignment components and that I don’t feel rushed to complete them
around the time of the actual deadline. If you don’t feel like you can hold
yourself accountable to these deadlines, then try asking a friend to help you.
You could also try finding sources of motivation like this website (http://www.stickk.com/) which sends your
money to an organization that you hate if you fail to meet your commitments.
3. Study in places other than your dorm
room. I am most comfortable in my dorm room
so I find that studying in my room sometimes leads to me being unable to focus
on my work. Conversely, when I study in places like libraries, I have the
mindset that I am there for the sole purpose of studying so I tend to get more
work done in these environments. I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem,
but studying in a new environment can be a good way to restore your focus.
Additionally, new study spots can break the monotony of studying in one place
for too long and can renew your motivation to get work done.
4. Plan out your week. This is arguably the most useful method
I have of keeping myself from procrastinating. At the beginning of every week,
I plan out everything that I need to
do, down to the minute. Here’s an example of how I would plan out my week:
I may not always be
able to follow my schedule perfectly, but I find that I am more productive when
I have a set plan that I need to follow. Just remember to leave time for study
breaks and that it’s not the end of the world if you have to deviate from your
*Chasefuture is now Dyad.
Get a free Dyad Review of your PS or CV!
A polished application is necessary for you to earn admission to your dream school. Dyad helps you impress Admissions Officers!