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Just Do It

By Eva • August 10, 2015

Getting things done ahead of time is one of the most rewarding practices but, if you're anything like me, it's also one of the most challenging. I am a serial procrastinator and have been since I was old enough to pronounce the word. I'm not saying I don't do my work – I get things done on time and I don't settle for anything less than my best. But sometimes (okay most times) I don't leave myself enough time to get things done at a reasonable rate. The result? An ungodly amount of self-inflicted stress accompanied by a questionable rate of caffeine ingestion, with absolutely zero sleep (side effects usually include extreme irritability, emotional instability, stress eating, and a generally troll-like appearance).

Those of you who know exactly what I'm talking about also know how tiring this cycle can get. But lucky for us there are some simple things we can do to start breaking these old habits. And even luckier for you, I've made a list of the top five. So don't bookmark this and read it later. Read it now and discover the easy adjustments we can make to avoid the all-nighters and the copious amounts of stress that come with them. If you need another reason not to put this off, everything I mention below (and much more) is ON SALE for another week. Ending Sunday, Aug' 16, 2015, has a Back-to-School sale going on where you can get 15% off all textbooks using the code, TBTEXTBOOKS.

Don't bite off more than you can chew – Being ambitious is great, but if you don't have a plan it can be a fast track to getting in way over your head. Break large projects down into smaller sequential tasks. Having a checklist of goals can make big tasks seem less intimidating – and taking it one step at a time means you can stay focused without getting overwhelmed.

Change old habits – Learning not to procrastinate takes time. Procrastination is a learned habit that will take some practice to break. Learn how willpower can help you correct the pattern with Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

Use the buddy system – No, I'm not talking about when your elementary school teacher made you go to the bathroom in pairs. Doing work alongside other people who are doing the same thing is not only motivating; it’s helpful. Not only will you keep each other accountable, but bouncing ideas off one another allows you to process information in a different way, and having another person's perspective can help you catch things you wouldn't notice otherwise.

Give yourself a break – Yep you read that right. You might actually be losing productivity if you're working yourself too hard. Be sure to schedule in small breaks of about ten minutes every so often while you're working. Taking small mental breaks occasionally can help you stay more focused during work time.

Eat a Frog – Don't actually eat one. Just read Brian Tracey's Eat That Frog. It's a readily accessible self-help book aimed at beginners who want to stop procrastinating. Tracey has an abundance of motivational advice sure to help you amp up your Nike and 'Just do it.' Eat That Frog is just one of the many inexpensive, proven used books in this field that you can find at Perfect for students on a budget.

Following even just one of these five steps can give you the boost you need to stop procrastinating and start getting stuff done, and just in time for back-to-school season too.

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