When spring finally arrives, it can be hard to find the motivation to finish your homework. All you want to do is go outside and enjoy the nice weather.

With midterms ending it is time to start thinking about the end of the semester. Don’t procrastinate. You may think it’s easier said than done, but when the semester comes to end, you will be less stressed if you start planning ahead.

Eighty percent to 95 percent of college students procrastinate, according to the American Psychological Association.

Learning to not procrastinate will improve your mental health and your grades. Realizing how much work you have for the rest of the semester can be stressful. Create a checklist with the due dates of your assignments, and tape it to your desk. At the bottom of the list, write down a reward for yourself. You might want to get your nails done or get a new shirt.

Having a checklist on your desk makes it easier to remember when your homework is due and can motivate you to start it earlier. Giving yourself a reward is a positive reinforcement to help repeat this behavior.

What if you have multiple essays due in the same week? Start by constructing detailed outlines. Figure out what needs to be accomplished in the introduction, body and conclusion. Having an outline makes writing an essay easier.

If you break up one big task into smaller easier tasks, you will feel like you’re doing less work.

Your friends can also be another reason for your procrastination. It can be hard watching your friends who don’t have as much homework as you do going out and doing something fun. I avoid this by spending my free time between classes in the library.

In the library, you see everyone doing work. This atmosphere can help with getting you to concentrate and eliminate your distractions. Try to get all your work done during the day so you can be guilt free when you want to do fun things with your friends.

If you find your phone to be the biggest distraction, there are apps to help you. “Freedom” is an app that allows you to block internet use up to eight hours at a time. “Anti-social” is another app from the creators of Freedom where it blocks social media apps and allows you to use the internet for homework research.

Email Tracey Fox at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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