How to Stop Yourself Procrastinating

You have been applying to jobs for what feels like half your life, whether it’s part-time, full-time or the dreaded grad schemes – job hunting is a never-ending process. And the worst part is that everyone else around you seems to have a five year career plan, multiple internships lined up and their life together. So here you are, procrastinating by reading this blog post and trying to build up the motivation to start looking at the job applications you’ve abandoned. Well, luckily for you I’ve got some killer tips on how to stop wasting time and start absolutely bossing your work-life.

1. Get up early

Getting out of bed at 7am every day is near impossible in the winter months. It’s like waking up in the middle of the night and then being expected to be happy about it. So let’s be realistic, you’re going to be grumpy, it’s probably so cold you can barely get out of bed and you’ll scroll on Instagram for half an hour before realising your late for work.

So get a bedside lamp, as soon as your alarm goes off turn it on. Magic, it’s light! As for the alarm, remove the snooze setting and sit up as soon as it goes off the first time. Next, get on your dressing gown, cosy socks and make a decent breakfast with coffee, of course. Done, up early and ready to start your day.

2. Organise your laptop

There’s nothing more distracting than a desktop full of random files named “vjhk” because you were too lazy to name and file them at the time. Clear out that desktop, make a few folders and for goodness sake, back-up your laptop.

When it comes to handing in your dissertation or trying to find that job application you wrote a month ago, life moves a lot smoother if you have an organised folder, as opposed to searching through every file on your MacBook.

3. It’s all about the aesthetic

If, like me, you are way more motivated to sit at a desk with a copper lamp, some inspirational quotes and beautiful stationary – then it’s time to redesign your workspace. Just a few candles and some pretty notebooks can make the world of difference. Rather than procrastinating by searching through endless piles of paper and trying to find that reminder you wrote on a receipt, you can see everything much more clearly.

If you’re feeling super extra, you can even jazz up your laptop. Personally, I love getting a new MacBook case, keyboard cover and going on Pinterest to find an inspo desktop picture. You’d be surprised how many organisational freebies there are out there.

4. Get out of the house

I know you want to work in bed all day, with many hot drinks, snacks and warmth. Yes, the comfort is amazing but you are also incredibly unproductive when you can just switch from internship applications to Netflix without thinking twice about it.

However, if you’re in the library, coffee shop or office space, you are far more likely to do work. Grab yourself a coffee, get on with those applications and the chances are, you’ll be motivated by everyone else working around you.

5. Meal prep

After endless hours in the library, hunger is genuinely one of the main reasons for procrastination. When you’re starving, you can just pop down to the coffee shop, or make plans to go out for dinner, or go home to eat. I recommend meal prepping to combat this. And yes, I know it takes time and it’s annoying when you’re exhausted and just want to order a pizza, but meal prepping healthy snacks, lunches and even some caffeinated beverages is so helpful for a work day. It gives you something to look forward to on your study break and also ensures you’re looking after yourself and your brain!

6. Meditate the stress away

This one isn’t for everyone, I’ll admit, but hear me out. Download the app HeadSpace and try out their five minute meditation. When you are stressed out and life is getting on top of you, often you will forget to look after yourself. Sometimes taking five minutes to relax and regroup can increase your concentration and prevent you from procrastinating because you can’t focus on anything. Yoga, combining exercise and mindfulness, can also be great for a bit of me time.

7. Start a Bullet Journal

If you’re a serial procrastinator, I bet you have a diary on your desk that you abandoned weeks ago. As a result, you’re always late to events, have a million to-do lists floating in your bag and are so stressed out you don’t even know what internships you’ve applied for. To make not only the job hunt go a little smoother, but also life in general, start a bullet journal. If you haven’t heard of this genius organisational system, check out this video:

Bullet journaling has transformed my working life. For example, I’m a full-time student, editor and writer. Bullet journaling allows me to make organisational pages for all aspects of my life and stay organised all within one notebook. No more darting between a diary, post it notes, receipts, random pieces of paper and reminders on my phone. It’s a lot easier to be productive when you know exactly what you need to do.

8. Reward yourself

After a hard day’s work it’s easy to think I’ll just answer one more email or read one more essay. Remember to schedule in social events, little rewards for yourself like taking that workout class you’ve been desperate to go to or having a little shopping spree. If you can see the rewards planned in your bullet journal for the week ahead, being productive is a whole lot less daunting. You know when your break is coming and that makes working worth it!

Author: George Arkley


Founded by Oxbridge graduates, it is the first-ever all-in-one platform for career development that makes the career planning process efficient and personalised.

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