With the last week of the semester comes a dreaded enemy… procrastination. (Well it’s been here all semester, but for some reason feels the hardest to shake now. The end feels so close, and yet so far). For myself, this often seems to develop in the form of being a procrastireader. I have found it especially hard during these past semesters while doing work entirely at home. If you have also struggled with procrastireading, here are some tips for getting back on track. (So you can finish with school and get back to your reading of course!)
You do need breaks. One of the things I struggle with the most with school and personal life is having a balance. I tend to just get ideas and want to do whatever I have in my mind at that moment. This is especially tricky with online school when I don’t have something scheduled that I need to attend. However, I can’t tell you to completely stop reading when you have a busy week. Why? Because you need a break! You deserve to rest and take a bit of time for yourself every day. When I am tempted to procrastiread, I remind myself of how good it feels to sit down with a book after a productive day and relax.
Set time limits
It can be really hard in the moment to stop, and I often start feeling guilty for not doing my work. If you are really into your book and it’s hard to put down, remembering that it will still be there for you later to continue is a promising thought. You can also use this as motivation. “If I work on this assignment for this amount of time, I can read for an hour before bed.”
After putting down your book, I find it helpful to do another activity to get my mind off of it. It can be really hard to stop thinking about a book I love, even long after I have closed the pages! You could do a physical activity like yoga or going on a walk, or make yourself a meal. These actions all force you to focus and can ground you back to reality and your tasks.
After your mind is off of it, sitting down and getting some of your work done will be a great feeling. Even if it isn’t everything you would’ve liked to do that day, getting any work done is an accomplishment. Plus, future you— who is now rewarded with reading before bed— will feel a lot better.
The hardest part is getting started. Set the study mood: get tea, a candle, and turn on a study playlist. Make yourself feel like the main character. I usually put instrumental music and keep it interesting by adding new songs that Spotify recommends me. Oftentimes, I worry that I won’t know what to write which is why I don’t start and begin to feel stuck. I realized that I don’t actually know that unless I start working. Then if I do get stuck, I can take the action to reach out to a friend, teacher, or ta, and ask for help.
I feel like I’m sounding a little bit dramatic, but this is really often my experience with procrastireading. I will read a book I like so much that I want to marathon it. Unfortunately, I often don’t have the time in my schedule to do so! However, during the summer I may attempt a 24-hour readathon, which will not be hard to do in this mood! This usually just happens with books I am loving, but I often still find other ways to procrastinate. I will go on TikTok/Instagram/Twitter, or basically, do anything not related to what I need to get done. So, this post is focused on procrastireading, I hope these tips are able to help you if you struggle with procrastination in general! *graphics are from Canva, cover photo is my own*