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How to Come Back from ‘All Play, No Work’

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If you are anything like me, motivation doesn’t always come easily. The temptation to have fun and the stress of doing work often result in the perfect storm that facilitates procrastination. For me, semester 1 was not the most productive. Luckily, I have been in this position before and know how to get myself out of that pattern of procrastination and, with semester 2 starting, now is the perfect time to get back into the swing of getting work done. Here are some of my top tips and tricks to give procrastination the boot:

1. Create a Timetable.

While this trick may sound obvious, the true power of the timetable is often underappreciated among us procrastinators. Making a timetable is the easiest and most efficient way of making sure you get everything done without the stress of last-minute cramming and submissions. Check blackboard on the student portal and write in all of your deadlines for the semester so you can better visualise the amount of time you have. I always find this process really motivating.

2. Acknowledge your Limitations

Realistically, if you are reading this you either love procrastinating or put off work to have fun. These parts of you are not going to change overnight. Make sure that you timetable social time, work breaks and other plans into your timetable. Just because you may have been ‘all play, no work’ during semester 1, it doesn’t mean that ‘all work, no play’ is going to serve you well either. Balance is key.

You may benefit from creating a flexible timetable if you don’t plan your social time in advance. Give yourself one day of the week where you get work done that you may have missed during the week. It is important not to use this buffer day to do all of your week’s work in one day so make sure you only use this buffer for one day’s worth of work.

3. Attend your Lectures

This trick works in so many ways. Attending all of your lectures should be the bare minimum that you do on your degree, but we all know that it doesn’t always happen. Being present at your lectures not only makes your life easier come exam season (as you won’t be having to learn and revise the content in one go) but also gets you out of the house and into the learning mindset. If you have been to your lecture, you are already in University so you may as well go to the library after class and crack on with that pressing deadline.

4. Talk to your Academic Advisor

It is important to remember that your academic advisor is there to help you, not to judge you. They understand how hard it is to find motivation as they themselves were students once too. If your procrastination has resulted in less than ideal academic performance, your advisor will be able to help you. Having them go through your work and giving you feedback will help boost your grade and as a result, boost your motivation to work. Help from my advisor with essay structure and content moved my expectations of a 2:2 to a first. I cannot recommend this step enough.

5. Drop-In Sessions

Drop-in sessions are another great way to force yourself to get work done. Like your academic advisor meetings, the drop-in sessions are designed to boost your academic performance. Attending these sessions are another motivation to get out of the house and back into work.

6. Look After Yourself

This final hint underpins all of the others. There is no use trying to get work done if you’re brain isn’t working properly. Getting the right amount of sleep, eating healthily (or healthier than usual), exercising and cutting back on unhealthy habits are some of the many ways you can look after yourself and make sure your brain is working at top performance. That sluggish feeling that may be stopping you from doing work should subside if you start living healthier. Additionally, if there are issues that are worrying you, the Student Support website has

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