November 4, 2022, by UoN School of English

Preventing procrastination as an English student

I always find it difficult to get back into studying after a substantial time of relaxation. As an English Literature student, it can also be hard to read multiple books for seminars on top of attending lectures and making notes. New students would typically prefer to make new friends, go to parties, and focus on settling into university rather than cramming hundreds of paragraphs into their memory.

It is possible to combine such priorities with work, however. Instead of going on a simple coffee date, why not turn it into a study session where you and your classmates can sip on iced lattes and work at the same time? You could even drag your laptop around different cafés if you fancied a cake from Birds or a meal from Wetherspoons. Reward yourself with a bite when you complete a chapter. Being surrounded by other students working may also motivate you to work too; avoiding tasks is easy when home alone with Netflix flashing on the TV screen.

A mug of tea on a pile of books, with pink flowers in the background

As a fellow student, I admit procrastination is extremely tempting. There are times where I have scrolled on my phone for hours whilst a half-finished essay sits next to me. Yet even just researching an essay is an achievement – just the smallest of efforts counts. It is much harder to start a task than to continue it and so just beginning research makes it easier to resume the task. Don’t force yourself to work for hours but take a break when you lose focus. Time the break so that you don’t fall into the arms of procrastination.

Whilst it feels like defeat if you procrastinate, believe me: procrastination is never failure. Every student succumbs to it. The tips that I have provided should, however, help you to procrastinate less.

– Bethan Beddow

Posted in Student WordsTips/Advice/Guidance