🦆 Putting the 'Pro' in Procrastinate

Be it a personal statement, CV, piece of coursework, or even a blog post, there can always be a temptation to leave a seemingly arduous task to the busiest day of the week. Which day is that? ‘Tomorrow’. Perhaps it’s true that you work better under pressure, or need more time to think about the task at hand, but starting your work earlier can significantly improve its quality. Here are some tips on how to concentrate.

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Background Music?

Should you listen to music while working? What effect will this have on your productivity? This will surely vary from person to person, but I’ve found a way that seems to work quite well for me. The trick is to put on the right sort of music in the background, not just what you usually listen to. Composers that work on video games are tasked with the challenge of composing an engaging piece of music that keeps energy levels high, whilst also being careful not to distract players from the gameplay too much. This is music designed for concentration, but often goes overlooked. Next time you have something to write and are struggling to concentrate, search YouTube for video game music and see if it helps!

Removing Distractions

Pop your phone into do not disturb mode and delete social media sites from your favourites bar. These are often the biggest culprits when it comes to distracting you so it may be best to remove the distractions, but even with this precaution taken it can still be difficult to get in the right frame of mind for productivity. If you make sure you always work in the same place, preferably a desk or in the library/SU, you’ll start to associate that location with work and be able to slip into it more easily, whereas a living room or bedroom will be full of distractions and are areas that you’ll be more likely to associate with watching TV or sleeping.

Plan ahead

In order to organise your workload more effectively, look at all the tasks at hand holistically. Make a note of when all your deadlines are and keep this information somewhere you can easily see it and be reminded of it. You may want to set yourself targets to complete certain pieces of work earlier than the deadline, and can remind yourself of this by setting reminders on your phone, or using a whiteboard/calendar if you have one in your room. Plan ahead, and you won’t end up rushing to do everything at the last minute. Future you will thank you!

So, there it is, a few tips for crafting a more suitable working environment to encourage concentration. Feel free to comment below with any advice of your own for others to try, if you’ve found something that works for you.

I’ll give you the rest of my advice on avoiding procrastination another day…

Talk soon people,
Harry