Putting that “PRO” in procrastination: tips on online learning
It is no secret that online learning and working from home can bring many distractions and can easily turn us into daily procrastinators. In this blog I will share with you my tips on online learning that will help you put that “PRO” in procrastination.
#1 Try to spend your procrastination time wisely and plan
First of all, use your procrastination time to plan your work and create a manageable to-do list by dividing your big task into smaller tasks that are easier to tackle and set deadlines for those little tasks. This way you are not really working on your big task – only planning but you are staying productive.
Let me give you a chemistry example. In term 1 we had to write a part report on one of chosen experiments. This was my small task to-do list:
- Check out the information for the experiments and chose my topic
- Check out the Web of Science for papers on my topic and get some background knowledge and to use papers for references
- Plan the report by paragraphs
- Write each paragraph including citations at separate times
- Format the bibliography and check for any errors
This method works perfectly with assignments as well as tackling pre-recorded lectures. With online learning a lot of work and planning is put on our side – we no longer have a tight schedule in tabula to tell us what we are supposed to do and when. This can sometimes be overwhelming – so many things to do and to think about. To avoid all those nerves, it’s best to create a schedule as detailed as possible – this way even if you don’t do all those things as in the timetable, you at least have everything written down in one place and know exactly what to do.
If you are extremely tired and your brain must have a recharge or you simply need to relax – take your time. Make a power nap, go on a 15-minute walk or lay on the couch and watch an episode on Netflix. Just make sure it’s one episode, not four. This type of procrastination is very important as we need to bear in mind that when we are exhausted from staring at our computers, we are not able to focus on our goal and it’s a waste of time trying to work on anything in such a state. Overall, it’s healthy and more productive in the long term.
#3 Change your procrastination into motivation
Another tip is to change the procrastination of one task into motivation to do another one. Have you ever suddenly remembered that last inorganic lecture video you postponed after doing 3 lectures in a row right when you were about to start writing a lab report? If you want to procrastinate effectively just listen to that voice in your head. Use it as your motivation to finish your inorganic lecture content instead of staring blankly at your lab report word document.
#4 Create a reward system
As weird as it may sound, reward systems can work great to motivate you. After doing schoolwork from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. set yourself time in the evening for your reward. It can be anything – watching your favourite tv series, reading a book or exercising. This way you will have something to look forward to at the end of the day that will help you get through your day. It’s a good idea to incorporate family time into your reward – it’s important to spend time with your parents and/or siblings but it’s equally important to set boundaries and do your work. If you plan something in advance e.g. a board game evening, a movie night or a family walk, you will be less likely to get distracted during your working hours and family time will be no excuse.
That is everything I have for you today. I hope you find my tips useful! Comment any tips and systems for online learning that work for you as we all can use some more inspiration 🙂