Avoiding Procrastination: How To Stay Focused On Your Dissertation

how to avoid procrastination

When your dissertation avoidance game is strong it can be tough to stay on track. Luckily we have a few tips to help you avoid procrastinating yourself out of a 2:1!


You’re probably reading this because you’re avoiding writing your dissertation (we’ve all been there!)

So before we get going, here’s a video to set the scene (and satisfy your need to do anything but your dissertation!)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can focus on taking back control from the Instant Gratification Monkey (IGM) and getting some hard things (namely your dissertation) done!


Step 1: Get Your Dissertation Procrastination Done EARLY


Watch all the cat videos you like in your allocated procrastination time

We know that simply deciding that today’s the day you’re going to get stuff done isn’t enough, after all the washing up needs doing too… and your room could do with a tidy… and today is definitely the day to alphabetise your DVD collection!

Procrastination has a way of making you prioritise the ‘wrong’ things; anything to keep you away from the most important task at hand — your dissertation.

One way to try and avoid a whole day lost to procrastination is to get all those other ‘important’ things out the way early in the day, get it out of your system so to speak.

Allocate yourself a certain amount of guilt-free ‘dissertation avoidance’ time at the start of the day and watch all the cat videos you like, really go wild, but once the time is up it’s time to knuckle down!


Step 2: Have A Dissertation Writing Plan


Have a dissertation plan with clear daily goals

Having a plan is a fairly obvious piece of advice, but one that is often underappreciated when it comes to getting stuff done.

If you’ve taken Step 1 then you’re part way there to having a plan — you’ve already allocated some of your day to guilt-free procrastination time, fab! Now comes the less fun and more tricky part…

The approach you take with your planning will depend on your schedule, your subject and your dissertation deadline.

Some people might set themselves a small target of writing a few hundred words a day, others might break their dissertation down into sections that need to be tackled in a particular order; whatever your approach, just make sure you have one!

Simply knowing what you’ve got to tackle that month/week/day/afternoon will help you get into the right mindset for the task ahead, and hopefully, make your dissertation seem like less of a monster.


Step 3: Get Your Dissertation Working Environment Right


Choose a work environment that works for you not against you!

Most of you will know by now what kind of environment works best for you.

Whether you prefer being in the library, holed up in your room with Mozart or working with a bunch of friends, make sure you get your work environment right when you’re tackling your dissertation to avoid giving the IGM a helping hand!

Attempting to work with the TV on is probably a poor choice. As is trying to work in a communal area in your house or flat where other people that aren’t in a ‘work frame of mind’ are likely to be (the IGM would love nothing more than to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory all day long!)

Wherever you choose to get cracking on your dissertation, make sure it’s a distraction-free zone.


Step 4: Reward Yourself For Making Progress On Your Dissertation


Rewards are a great motivator

Rewarding yourself for making progress on your dissertation is a great way to help you stay on track.

Tying in rewards to certain milestones in your dissertation plan will give you something to work towards and also to look forward to.


Step 5: Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep


Young adults (aged 18-24) need 7-9 hours sleep a night

We’ve said this before, but getting enough sleep is really important if you want to ensure you’re doing your best work.

If you’re sleep deprived, not only will you be more easily distracted, but your brain won’t function at it’s best. Sleep deprivation has a long list of side-effects, many of which you might not even be aware of (especially if you’re sleep deprived).

If you want to nail your dissertation, make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of kip a night, which is the minimum recommended amount for young adults (aged 18-24).


Procrastination is something that can strike in all areas of your life — don’t let the IGM distract you from getting decent student accommodation for next year!


At Andrew Chell, we pride ourselves on offering superb student houses, with all-inclusive rent, and a caring private landlord with a reputation for quality and service. With NO signing fee and NOTHING to pay until July, check out our available houses now and contact us to book a viewing today!


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