Applying to college can be a tricky and time-consuming task. From researching degree programs to writing personal statements, there’s a lot of work to be done – yet the majority of students end up procrastinating instead of knuckling down and getting on with it.
Whether it’s scrolling through social media or watching irrelevant videos on YouTube, you’ve probably found yourself doing something other than filling in your applications. However, the good news is that there are several tactics you can employ to help yourself break the cycle of procrastination and boost your productivity. Keep reading for some top tips!
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Procrastination is the act of delaying or avoiding a task that you need to do in a way that’s irrational, unnecessary, or counterproductive. People often think of it as a form of laziness, but that’s not always true. For example, if you find yourself cleaning your room instead of writing your personal statement, you’re not being lazy, but you may well be procrastinating.
So why do students procrastinate on college applications? There are several possible explanations. It might be that you’re overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do in order to apply, or perhaps you’re worried that you won’t be able to write a personal statement that’s good enough to get you accepted into your dream college. It may even be that you’re waiting for your muse to arrive before you start writing – which may never happen.
Don’t panic, though! Whatever your personal reasons are for procrastinating on your college applications, there will be ways to overcome it.
Top Tips for Overcoming Procrastination
Below are some of the most effective strategies for tackling your tendency to procrastinate. Remember that some techniques will work better for you than others, depending on your personality, so try out as many as possible and see which are the most useful. That way, you’re sure to have your college applications completed in no time!
- Break up the intimidating task of ‘applying to college’ into smaller chunks that are more manageable. For example, these might include ‘check CampusReel’s “How to get into Harvard” guidelines’ and ‘brainstorm ideas for my personal statement.’
- Allow yourself a small reward once you’ve completed these smaller tasks, such as a sweet treat or five minutes on social media.
- Minimize distractions by turning off your cellphone notifications and blocking your access to social media for a certain amount of time.
- Try to avoid multitasking – it rarely works!
- Find a friend who is also applying for college and become accountability buddies to help each other stay on track. Socializing with driven and motivated people has the added benefit that their productive attitude will rub off on you!
- Use the Pomodoro Technique. This involves working solidly for 25 minutes and then allowing yourself a five-minute break, which helps you stay focused while avoiding burnout.
- If you hit a wall, go for a short walk to get some fresh air, clear your head, and boost your creativity.
- Get a change of scenery by working in a coffee shop or your school library for a while. Having other people around you might also prevent you from wasting time!
- Set up your desk for maximum productivity by getting rid of clutter and having everything you need within easy reach.