Our world is wonderfully full of distractions. While this certainly makes life more interesting, it can lead to challenges when trying to achieve our goals. So, we’ve compiled some of the best advice on how to stop procrastinating and focus on what matters most; whether that be starting your own business, getting fit and healthy, or even completing that online course!
Here is Centre of Excellence’s top 10 tips on how to stop procrastinating and successfully complete your course.
- Make Good Choices.
- Practise Pacing.
- Find Your Flow.
- Create a Study Space.
- Select Your Learning Style.
- Set Yourself SMART Goals.
First, it’s a good idea when considering how to stop procrastinating to ask yourself why you are taking this course. Is it for fun? Is it to further your skills and get ahead at work? Whatever your reasons, keep them in mind as you set about your studies. If you find you can’t answer these questions, you may want to look at your choice of course and reassess. There’s something out there to suit everyone! For some inspiration, you can browse the full list of Centre of Excellence courses here.
Your course can be completed in your own time and at your own pace. While this allows for a great degree of freedom, it’s still a good idea to set aside specific study time so that you can move towards your goals in manageable steps and figure out how to stop procrastinating. Keep in mind your own pace of working and your other commitments when you do this and be kind to yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to settle down and enjoy your studies, whether you’ve allotted an hour a day or one evening a month!
Don’t try and force yourself into an uncomfortable routine just because you think it’s the ‘right’ way to learn how to stop procrastinating. If you are more focused in the evening, it’s best to study then. If you’re up with the larks and work better in the mornings, choose this time to work on your course. Forcing yourself to work to an uncomfortable schedule is a surefire way to make the experience more challenging and unpleasant than it needs to be. Instead, make this an enjoyable habit that you look forward to.
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office or a quiet space at work to study. But, it’s important you feel relaxed and inspired by your environment when you study. This is different for everyone — whether it’s the buzz of the commuter bus in the morning, the tranquillity of the outdoors or even the hush of your local library, locate your happy place for studying and use it as frequently as possible. You’ll find you start to really look forward to knuckling down to your course. If your schedule is too hectic for this kind of routine, try breathing techniques and meditation to make even the busiest of spaces a better centre for study. And remember, you can take your studies with you everywhere now, thanks to the Centre of Excellence app (available for iOS and Android).
When it comes to learning new information, we’re all very different. Some of us prefer active learning — where we might teach others newly acquired information to learn better ourselves — and others prefer passive learning, such as reading or listening to a lecture. After a few sessions, you should begin to understand how you process course materials most effectively. If you find yourself reading aloud, you might be an auditory learner, and want to try our audiobooks to accompany your diploma course. If you find yourself doodling, you’re probably a visual learner, so make sure you colour code your notes and draw yourself handy diagrams to remember complex information.
Goal-setting is a good tool to use when facing a daunting task. This will help you take full responsibility for your online learning — after all, you are embarking on this learning journey for your own enrichment. Your goals can be both long-term to help you achieve your dreams and short-term to make the course more manageable. You can even write yourself little reminders so you stick to your goals and feel more productive. It’ll feel great each time you achieve one of your goals on your learning journey!
When setting goals, make sure they are SMART:
Don’t fret if there’s something you don’t quite understand. There’s no rush. Take time to try and act out the information, trial a new style of learning or switch up your note-taking with mind maps or lists. Speak to a friend or family member about aspects you’re unsure of. Avoid frustration while studying by taking a break, stretching, standing up and going for a walk, trying some meditative exercises, or visualising the problem and solution. But don’t push yourself too hard. Perhaps a good night’s sleep will do the trick!
During your studies, you might start to feel overwhelmed. It’s important to take time to reflect on what you’ve already learned and how this has enriched you. With each passing module, you move closer to your goal of completing your course and gaining new knowledge! It’s also a good idea to challenge any negative self-talk — a damaging practice in which a lot of us engage. Instead of telling yourself you haven’t finished the course yet, reframe this thought and look at how far you’ve come! It’s a great idea, also, to reward yourself with some rest with each little goal achieved on your learning journey.
Your brain is a fascinating and complex organ that needs nurturing as much as your mind, body and soul. You’re no doubt studying alongside other commitments in your life and you must honour your physical and emotional needs during this busy period. If your motivation is low and you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to feel less sluggish, such as resting, taking a walk, exercising, eating a colourful plate of healthy food, drinking more water or invigorating herbal tea, or even just taking some time to catch up with your favourite book or TV show.
It’s really important to feel supported when embarking on a new venture and trying to figure out how to stop procrastinating. If you live in a busy household, talk to your family about why you’re taking this course and what you hope to achieve in doing so. With their encouragement, you’ll find it easier to carve out time and space to study. Likewise, you can join our Study Group and share study tips and kind words of support with fellow CoE students. And, finally, the CoE Customer Happiness team is on hand to help.
At the time of publishing, registering with Centre of Excellence will entitle you to the free How to Be a Super Learner Course.