How many times have you spent countless hours doing google searches, going over your notes for the umpteenth time, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, reading news articles online, etc, etc, etc… all under the guise of researching?

Don’t feel bad, I used to be guilty of this too!

There’s a certain comfort in researching that we all seem to enjoy. Doing research allows us to justify procrastinating and enables us to postpone doing our work, having convinced ourselves that we’re being productive.

Although researching is a great way to approach your work and is an excellent study technique, it’s pointless if you spend an eternity researching and consuming content, instead of implementing the information from your research. Without applying the researched information, you’re simply procrastinating.

The simple solution is to stop researching (aka procrastinating) and start working.

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Although procrastination is common when you’re studying, it doesn’t have to dominate your life.

Figure out why you procrastinate, and you can defeat this nasty habit. Defeating procrastination increases your study motivation skills.

Eventually, you’ll become a more successful student.

Determine what fears, emotions or negative habits cause you to procrastinate, then take intentional steps to overcome these obstacles.

BONUS READ: 7 Time Management Strategies Super Successful Students Swear By

Ask yourself, “Do I procrastinate because of any of the following?”

·        disorganisation

·        fear of feedback and/failure

·        lack of energy/motivation

·        overwhelm/anxiety

·        perfectionism

·        unrealistic incentives

·        unknown goals

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Saying, “I’ll get it done tomorrow” is a recipe for disaster. As my mentor used to say, “Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today?”

If you’re a slave to procrastination, but you want to improve your study motivation and defeat self-doubt, the following tips and techniques will help get you off of a research road and on to a path of productivity.

Set yourself deadlines

If you set yourself a deadline, then you’re more motivated to stay focussed and stop researching. Consequently, you’re more likely to get things done to meet your deadline.

Use your “Why” to inspire the importance of meeting your deadline. When you remember why you’re studying, you realise that to achieve your goal(s) you’ve got to work.

You won’t get a degree for being the best researcher since records began. You will get a degree for applying the information from the research into your work and getting great grades.

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Have an accountability accomplice

If you’re having difficulty moving out of research/procrastinating mode, get an accomplice to hold you accountable.

Having someone who constantly checks on your progress motivates you to stay focussed and be productive.

You can incentivise your accomplice by promising them a treat/reward of their choice if they ensure that you complete your work by a deadline.

This is a win-win situation for both of you because your accomplice gets the desired treat/reward, and you get the extra push necessary to achieve your goals.

Schedule your research time

Setting yourself a research schedule with clear time limitations is an excellent way of being accountable for your time.

This ensures that you don’t research forever Amen. Instead, you devote an equal amount of time to researching and to working.

You can block out some research time in your calendar/planner and stick to it.

Try timing yourself when you research and stop when the time runs out. Knowing that you have a limited amount of time to research forces you to focus and get things done.

It also helps if you research one thing at a time. When you concentrate on one area/subject at a time, it’s more beneficial than if you try to multitask. Multitasking may cause you to become distracted or confused. This may lead to wasting time and reducing productivity.

BONUS READ: How To Prioritise As A Busy Student, Even When You Think You Can’t

Remember your reason/why for learning

Ask yourself the reason, or why you started studying.

Was it because you wanted to:

Have a better future for you and/your family?

Advance in your career/get a great job?

Fulfil a lifelong dream?

Achieve something you could be proud of?

Self-develop?

Prove to everyone who doubted you that you could amount to more than they ever expected?

Whatever your ‘why’ is for starting to study, use this to push you out of your comfortable procrastination zone, stop researching and start working.

It may help if you wrote your reason/your ‘why’ down and place it in a prominent position so that you can have a visual reminder to constantly encourage you to keep going, even when times get tough.

It will also inspire you to focus on working, instead of researching. Before long, you’ll be achieving your goals and living your dreams.

Small steps and bitesize bits are best

On your journey to achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams, it’s best to stop researching and get out of procrastination mode by taking small steps.

It’s easier and more enjoyable to get your work done when you do many small things that contribute to accomplishing a larger goal.

For example, it’s easier and more enjoyable to take small bites of a sandwich, rather than trying to force the entire thing down your throat in one go and possibly choke on it.

Similarly, researching and applying the information to your work will be less overwhelming and scary if you focus on achieving small, simple goals one at a time, instead of trying to accomplish everything all at once.

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Final Thoughts

These tips and techniques are designed to inspire you to stop researching and start working.

I hope you find them useful and they encourage you to achieve your goals and live your dreams instead of procrastinating.

Despite how difficult your learning gets, it helps if you:

  1. Set yourself deadlines
  2. Have an accountability accomplice
  3. Schedule your research time
  4. Remember your reason/why for learning
  5. Small steps and bitesize bits are best

In addition to applying the above strategies, there’s one final secret weapon to help you stop procrastinating and start working. Simple, yet extremely effective, prayer is a powerful thing that works wonders. Use a prayer journal and a prayer planner to help you stay focussed on your faith and to help you get the most from your moments of prayers.

Good luck!