If you are anything like me, you’re on top of your work during the start of the semester, but begin to have trouble keeping up. How do you keep up with your work and avoid falling into procrastination purgatory?

Unfortunately, this requires effort and cannot be fixed overnight. The good news is that there are ways to keep up your discipline when your motivation hits rock bottom.

Build the habit of studying.

You’re simply going to have to sit down and do assignments every day. If you find yourself lacking motivation or time, make it work. Break up a task into smaller parts and set up a reward system. Dedicate time to studying, or invite your friends to hang out and study at the same time.

Break the habit of procrastinating.

Identify your distractions and remove or change them. Put your phone on silent and place it across the room, or ask your roommates to set up “quiet hours.” If all else fails, find a new study space with fewer distractions.

Make studying less terrible.

One issue could be that you find studying so boring, you cry at the thought of looking at notes. Find ways to make the task more enjoyable. Put on some music, light a candle or bring a snack. Sometimes a change in scenery is needed to keep things fresh.

Keep each other accountable.

Sometimes, you can’t do it yourself. Find a classmate to study with or to ask if you have done your work. In dire situations, have a friend to study with you and point you back to your work when you get distracted.

Get unstuck.

You could be feeling inadequate and put off the assignment “until you get it.” Get caught up before it’s too late. Attend tutoring, talk to a classmate, or better yet, go to the professor! They are more than happy to help you one-on-one during office hours or after class, 99 percent of the time.

Take a break.

If you work your mind too much without a chance to recharge, the best study habits are almost useless. Take 10 minutes per hour to take a break for the best results. Set aside at least half an hour per day to not touch school work. No grade is worth sacrificing your well-being over.

Take advantage of student counselling services behind the REC. You already pay for them through tuition, so get your money’s worth. They have everything from stress-management classes to therapists that will help you at no extra cost.

If you fall behind, don’t beat yourself up over it. It will only make starting harder. Finish as much of your work as you can. The best time to start an assignment is the first day it’s assigned; the second best time is now. If you can’t finish on time, turn in your half-finished assignment anyway. It is easier to recover from a 45 than a zero. Finally, talk to your professor and be honest. Professors were once students and would be happy to know you’re trying.

Hopefully these tips help you stay on top of school, and if not, I hope they help you get back on track. I wish you all the best this semester!

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