How to eliminate procrastination during the VCE

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  • Does it take you a long time to get started on the project?
  • Do you find that you leave your tasks to the last minute?
  • Do you get easily distracted when studying?
  • Do you feel that you are not maximising the use of your time during the VCE ?
  • Do you get more motivated to do other tasks such as cooking and cleaning to avoid preparation for a test, exam or completion of an assessment?

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions it is likely that procrastination is having a negative impact during your VCE. Procrastination is simply not utilising your time effectively. It is a major problem not only for VCE students but most of humanity! Procrastination causes people to become inefficient and slow. It usually has a negative effect on personal goals, businesses as well as any goal orientated projects. Is it possible to eliminate procrastination? What are the steps of eliminating procrastination? Why should you eliminate procrastination as a VCE student? In this article we will be exploring the consequences of procrastination and looking at practical ways to eliminate this bad habit.

Why should you eliminate procrastination during the VCE?
As mentioned before procrastination has a direct impact on personal goals by causing people to become inefficient, slow and unproductive. Procrastination over a long period of time will definitely have an impact on your VCE experience as well as you ATAR score. As a VCE student you should eliminate procrastination because of the following reasons:

  • you will reduce stress levels
  • you will feel better about your own productivity
  • it will directly impact your self-image and confidence
  • you will usually have more spare time
  • the quality of your work will most likely improve
  • you will avoid cramming
  • your energy levels will improve

Prolonged procrastination can cause VCE students to develop doubt in their own ability. It also causes the students to become inefficient meaning that they will spend more time on study, and as a result, have less time for fun. Inefficiency during the VCE can eventually cause burnout and decrease energy levels.

Why do we procrastinate?

Take the time to reflect upon a moment in your life when you procrastinated. Try to reflect upon the following questions;

  • Did you spend more time avoiding the project or completing the project?
  • What finally motivated you to complete the project?
  • What feeling did you have in your body when you thought about doing the project?

If you really reflected deeply you should find that procrastination is usually caused by fear and dread. Usually when we procrastinate we prefer to just avoid facing the task. This is because we estimate the size of the project with our minds and get overwhelmed by the thought of completing the task.

Another reason students often procrastinate is because they believe they can leave it for later. Students often make excuses that they will just do it tomorrow. However as soon as tomorrow comes, there is yet another tomorrow… This goes on until tomorrow is the day in which the project is due and then finally it is time to do the project today.

The irony of procrastination is that the tasks are usually not as time-consuming as we believe they are. In fact it is more time-consuming to procrastinate then to complete the task.

How to eliminate procrastination during the VCE?

As was mentioned before procrastination is usually overestimating the size of the project or task. It can also occur by overestimating the complexity of the task – in other words believing that the project is too difficult for your ability.

If you have a problem with procrastination during the VCE try the following suggestions;

(1) If you feel anxious or not capable of completing a VCE task, question the motivation behind it.

This is usually caused by your mind overestimating the complexity of a particular task. It can also be a sign of low self-esteem and low confidence as a student. If you automatically believe that you cannot do a task it usually means that you do not have belief in your own ability as a student. To overcome this it is really important to raise self-esteem. There are many exercises that you can do in order to increase self-image as a VCE student. During the Academy Plus student success seminar, we will be going through many exercises and practical strategies that you can use in order to increase your confidence levels and your personal belief systems about who you are as a VCE student.

(2) If you over estimate the size of the VCE task, break it down into small manageable pieces.

The mind usually sees things as a whole. If you look at the figure below most people will define the picture as a circle. This is because the mind has completed the entire shape and “rounded it up” to be a circle. It is the job of your mind to fill in gaps but not necessarily how things really are. It is important to break down tasks into small pieces.

For example; if your goal is to study for your VCE chemistry exam – this will be overwhelming for the mind. This is because there are multiple ways of studying for a VCE chemistry exam. Instead of making this project as a goal, you should use creativity to break down the task into small manageable blocks. Perhaps striving to do a practice exam every day for VCE chemistry is a better option. Make sure that you brainstorm ways of studying for your VCE chemistry exam and turning them into small manageable tasks that your mind can cope with rather than become overwhelmed with.

(3) Set yourself a time goal for the completion of the VCE task

To minimise procrastination is sometimes good to have a time goal. This will encourage you as a student to limit the time you to vote for a particular project or task. By setting yourself a time goal you will know that you have to work effectively in order to finish by that time. You will encourage you to see that there is a limit to how much time you can dedicate.

(4) Reward yourself for completing VCE tasks

By having a reward at the end of your hard work, it will encourage you to be more motivated throughout the VCE task. These don’t have to be huge rewards but significant enough to push you through perhaps boring obstacles. Ideas include catching up with friends, reading a good book, playing a game of basketball, going to the movies, going out to dinner or simply watching your favourite TV show. You will find that you will enjoy rewarding yourself when you know that you absolutely deserved it!

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