We’ve all experienced it. The thing we put off doing because it’s difficult or because we don’t like doing it or we don’t know where to start.
It could be cleaning your room, telling a friend you can’t make a night out, making a choice between learning modules or not starting an assignment.
In this blog, we’ll focus on three top tips on tackling the wickedest procrastination culprit: not starting an assignment.
Make yourself a cup of tea (or other hot beverage)
How an earth will this help I hear you cry!
A hot drink, a quiet space and simple pen and paper is a good way to start an essay when you are struggling to know what to write. All Mezzino locations come with private quiet study space that will be ideal for this reflection.
In this moment, forget the detail in the books and lecture notes and just jot down the questions you want to address in the essay to cover the assignment topic. Between five and seven questions is probably all you need.
Think about what facts you need to share, when things have happened or need to happen, how things have been approached historically and could be in future, why change needs to happen, what problems exist and what solutions might be possible.
Within the time it takes to drink the cupper you’ll have a plan firmed up that will get you going.
Draw some boxes
How an earth will this help I hear you cry! Again.
Essentially, this about using a list or plan to track your progress and boost your motivation as you complete parts of your assignment.
Write up a list of the tasks you need to complete and by when, most likely based on any research you need to do and the sections of your assignment.
Included in your list is likely to be research (potentially broken down into further steps), introduction, background, the questions you identified whilst sipping your cup of tea, and the conclusion.
Sketch a box next to each task that you can neatly draw a tick in once you’ve completed the task!
Why not make your plan (and boxes) colourful, include some pictures and even attach to your wall?!
Start anywhere, but somewhere
If you are struggling to make a start you don’t necessarily need to begin at step one of your plan and work sequentially through it.
If you know what you want to write but not sure on the detail, you might want to start with the introduction.
But if you don’t know what you want to say, start somewhere else instead. No problem.
You may already know the arguments you want to make in your conclusion. There may be one of the questions you identified that you know the answer to already. Or a chunk of research that you are familiar with. Just start wherever you feel confident and get some words down on paper.
Only words of caution are to be careful that you don’t write too much on the areas you find easier and neglect those that don’t. And remain open minded on the outcomes of the research before you finalise your conclusions.
Final bit of advice is that you don’t need to struggle with this on your own. Your university lecturers are there to help. If you have someone on your course that is also staying in your Mezzino accommodation you can use the group study areas many of our locations have available. Talk through your plans for the assignment together and help each other stay motivated.