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By Cherry Nwe

Suddenly, even staring at a wall becomes more interesting than sitting down and finishing that one important piece of work due the next day. And when you finally do sit down, it becomes difficult to concentrate with you considering, “Are there any breaks tomorrow that I can rush this math tutorial in?” In the end, you stay up until midnight or longer and the work is hardly up to acceptable standards. The night ends with you promising yourself: no more, I will never procrastinate ever again.

The avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished – procrastination – is a constant battle that most students struggle with all the time. Fret not! This article will run you through exactly how you can stop procrastinating and achieve the 5.0 CAP you’ve always wanted.

Step 1: Create a to-do list.

Create a to-do list; write your tasks and due dates along with exclamation marks to denote importance. This will make everything clearer and your tasks more evident and real. Having the due date and importance next to the task also aids in prioritising your work. For example, if you have two important deadlines to meet concurrently, which should you do first? This problem can be avoided if you have a clear and organised to-do list that is regularly updated to remind you of important deadlines and crunch periods! Also, checking off tasks you have already completed makes you feel satisfied and accomplished, hence motivating you to do more.

Step 2: Stop being a coward.

One main reason why we procrastinate is because we want to avoid stress and other byproduct negative feelings that come with them. We tend to run away from beginning by convincing ourselves that “I work better under stress” or “there is still time”, and distract ourselves with other activities to forget about the task at hand. To stop procrastinating, you have to confront the stress instead of avoiding it. This might be easy to understand, but it can be hard to put into practice, especially when you are a serial procrastinator.

Step 3: Finish it.

Once you begin doing the task, it is crucial that you complete it to the best of your abilities in one sitting. Beginning a task but not finishing it can leave you feeling as if you have not done much, because there is still work you have to do. Also, you cannot check the task off the to-do list, so it seems as if you have not started at all, discrediting the hard work you’ve put in so far. This can leave you feeling unmotivated and unwilling to continue the task, making it difficult to start again. Completing the work also gives you a sense of accomplishment and releases its stress, since you will no longer have to think, “there’s still the thing I haven’t done”. Thus, always finish what you started.

That’s it. A 3-step mechanism to the equation: you (s, l, g) + uncompleted work (s) -> completed work (s) + 5.0 CAP (s). If you’re reading this to procrastinate on your work, leave. Use that student handbook and make a to-do list. Study for that quiz. Check things off the to-do list. Make the most of the time you have. Good luck!

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