24 Sept 2015

how I defeat procrastination

Procrastination is a beast that rears its ugly head during exam time and other periods where we have a deadline for a project/assignment. I think I finally managed to get the better of it this year using a variety of tools and methods. These methods may not work for you but I'm hoping they'll at least help give you ideas about what sort of things could help increase your productivity.

1) Use the FocusNow app

This app was seriously addictive. Each 25 minute burst you do grows a fruit/vegetable and the more you grow, the more points you get. These points are totted up and there's a leaderboard for each week. If you play with your phone when it is running, you 'kill' the fruit/vegetable and have to start all over again. You can do more than one 25 minute session in one go but the maximum I ever went for was 50 minutes. After that, I'd have a break where I'd allow myself to either get a snack or do a bit of exercise for 5-10 minutes before starting a new session.

Trust me - growing a fruit farm was seriously addictive!

2) Get enough sleep.

On the days where I was tired, I found myself wanting to nap and just unable to concentrate. On these days, work/revision was a complete write off but that's ok because of the next point...

3) Schedule in one day a week where you don't do any work.

This takes the pressure off working every day and a rest is good for your brain. No one can work continuously and it's not good for you! It also gives you a whole day to procrastinate!

4) Reward yourself at regular intervals.

At the end of each day, I'd allow myself the evening off from 8pm onwards to watch television or do anything else that I fancied. This meant I always had something to look forward to and ensured I got to work in a timely manner. You can use different incentives depending on what your mood is and you might even find yourself working harder and more often than before because of these rewards.

One of the rewards I used were the Byron Bay cookies you can see above. They are amazing and don't even taste or feel like gluten free cookies. The white chocolate chunk and macadamia nut flavour was my absolute favourite.

5) Positive reinforcements to remind you why you're doing this.

Try and see the bigger picture: this pain is temporary but the results could last for a lifetime (or a very long time at least!). Remind yourself that you're doing the best you can but that limits are there to be beaten; after all, that's why world records are broken time and time again. Motivate yourself through positive quotes (a Google Image search will throw up many results if you just type in 'inspirational quotes'!) and just believe in yourself.

This is what I did during last academic year's exam period and I didn't do too badly when results were released. These things may not work for you because everyone's slightly different. I know some people who can work solidly for an hour and not find their concentration wanes are half an hour but for me, I have quite a short attention span.


  1. i love your suggestion for that focus app! i'm hammering down for the Step 2CK exam in the USA, and I want to get another good score like i did my first set of board exams. Thank you!

    1. Good luck for Step 2! I've been using a Step 2 as a starting point for my note-taking this year :) x

  2. Also thanks from me for recommending the Focus app. I am liking it so far!

    1. Glad to be of service :) hope you enjoy using it! It's so addictive growing those fruits hehe x