Procrastination: The act of doing anything but what you actually need to do.
The most effective thing I have done to get me in the mindset to do something I really need to do, is to make myself do it for five minutes. Most of the time, it is the thinking before you actually start something that puts you off. Do whatever you need to do for five minutes! Only five minutes! Majority of the time (for me at least) I end up thinking "this isn't so bad!" and I keep going. This simple step can have the biggest effect!
Why you should do it!
Sometimes, we just can't be bothered doing whatever it is we need to do. Something I do if I have enough time is to create a list. On one side of the page, write down all the reasons you should do whatever it is that needs to be done. On the other page, write down all the possible cons of not doing it. Most of the time, there are no disadvantages and going through with what needs to be done actually lowers your stress. Just think, it is one thing you have gotten out of the way. This is something that I have found really effective with uni assignments, especially...essays!
The Buddy System
One thing I am trying to teach myself is that you do not have to do things alone. It is okay to ask for help! Maybe, try asking a friend if they will do it with you. This is especially helpful for working out and trying to get active. If you find yourself sitting at home putting off the assignment that is due in two days, call a friend! Tell him or her to come over and you can study together. Even if you are at different unis or studying complete opposite subjects, it is a win win for the both of you! Be each others' motivators!
Many people when they have things they need to do, tell themselves things like "I will not go on my phone until I have written 15,000 words, even if it takes me all night!" Honestly, this is not the way to go! If you feel restricted you are not going to be motivated to go through with it. Think of it like when you are trying to eat healthy. Most people when they 'diet' say "I will not each junk food for a week!" or something similar. As soon as a restriction is added you instantly want to do what you have said you 'don't want to do'. Do you know why? Because, you actually WANT to do it! Instead, change your mind set. Saying something as simple as "I will eat healthy for the most part and IF I feel like something 'naughty' I will have it every second day". This can be applied to studying as well as many other tasks. Tell yourself you will have a break every 40 minutes or so. This will ensure that you know it is not forever and you will look forward to something!
Setting yourself goals on a regular basis can be really helpful as it creates purpose. One thing I do every day is I create a list of things I want to get done. I try to get them done as quick and efficiently as I can so I can spend the rest of the day doing whatever! Be realistic though. Don't create a list of a ba-zillion things that is physically impossible to fit in 24 hours. This will just stress you out and make you feel down as you would have not completed every single one of them!
Sometimes, doing things that are important that you do not particularly want to do, can seem pointless if you do not feel like you get anything out of it. For example, cleaning your room. Obviously, after cleaning your room a benefit would be you can finally see the floor you haven't seen in years, but what do you really get out of it? Reward yourself for completing the tasks you set for yourself. This could be as simple as going out and getting yourself a coffee or even just watching the latest episode of your favourite show. Remember, be your own cheer leader! Praise yourself for your achievements, as little or insignificant as you deem them!
I hope this has helped some of you. When I first started my first year in uni I had very high expectations of myself. Even though this can be a good thing, it can also be harmful if taken to the extreme. Cut yourself some slack and have fun!
You can do it! Remember, you already have two people on your side cheering you on; yourself and me! :)