Reachable Resolution For College Students #4: Stop Procrastinating

Before getting started with our last reachable resolution, read our first three resolutions — to get involved, read more, and reduce stress  — to find out ways that you can achieve your New Year’s resolution. Now onto our last goal, stop procrastinating.

When there’s so much to do, it’s easy to throw our hands up in defeat. The feeling of “I can’t possibly finish everything” hinders our motivation to even try — plus, there’s always something to distract us: a new message, an event invite, a Wikipedia article about the salmon run you weren’t looking for but somehow landed on as you made your way down the internet rabbit hole.

While we deserve (and need) breaks from our more mundane tasks, we have to put in work, too. If you’ve been struggling with procrastination, don’t wait for the new year — implement this reachable resolution today with these steps:

Stop Procrastinating

1. Create a to-do list each week

Read chapters 4­–7, complete the 20-question comprehension quiz, post three responses in the online discussion … plus call Mom, do your laundry, and it’s your turn to clean the dorm room. Responsibilities can pile up in your mind and overwhelm you if you don’t get them out on paper. Organize your thoughts and assign each to-do to a specific day and time. Plus it is always gratifying to cross out items once you complete them. Pro tip, the first item should always be ‘create this week’s to-do list.’ Then you’ll always have something to cross off your list.

2. Use the 2-Minute Rule

“If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then, because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would to actually finish it the first time you notice it.” This tip comes from David Allen, a time management consultant and author of “Getting Things Done.” After you brain dump your to-do list, see which items can be completed in the least amount of time, and then knock those out first.

3. Spend less time on social media

If you fall into the average, you spend almost two hours per day on social media. Just think of what you could accomplish with those minutes back. When it’s time to study or do homework, unplug from your social network. Try a free tool like SelfControl to help you block Facebook et al for a specified amount of time.

4. Put your phone on do not disturb

From the second you wake up to the moment you surrender to sleep, you’re checking email, searching and scrolling, and messaging friends from your phone. As a society, we’re addicted to our technology: We touch our devices 2,617 times a day on average. Reduce that number by putting your phone on do not disturb — or better yet, turn it off and put it away for a while.

Now that you’ve taken in our previous reachable resolutions — to get involved, read more and reduce stress — apply this fourth suggestion to come up with your own New Year’s resolutions. Comment below with your resolutions for 2017.

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