By Isabella Sorresso

Whether it’s school or work, assignments are back in full swing in the New Year. You’ve told yourself that this year will be more productive and you’ve made your long list of things to do, but you continue to find yourself doing everything but your assignment.

Procrastination is hard to overcome and I’m definitely guilty of procrastinating. I will push off the tiniest things because I say I don’t have time or because I’m working on something else and don’t want to get distracted. Text my friend back? I’ll do it later. Wash the singular dish that’s in my sink? I’ll do it later. Write a 3,000-word story? I’ll do it way later.

But, over the years, I’ve come up with a few solid ways that have helped me to not procrastinate as much and to focus on my work.

Start right away: Pretend you’re the overachieving kid in class and force yourself to start right away. I try to do this with small assignments or goals that I want to accomplish. Don’t push it off when you think you’ll have more time. Just take the five minutes now and do it while it’s on your mind.

Just 20 minutes: If you’ve already procrastinated and didn’t start right away, there’s still hope! Decide that you’re just going to work on something for just 20 minutes and see what you have done then. Starting is the hardest part of anything, and if you can get started for just 20 minutes, chances are that you’ll keep going.

Log out: Social media is probably one of the leading causes of procrastination in this day and age. If you have something you really need to get done, log out of your social media accounts. As many as you can. And don’t just log back in two minutes later. I also recommend turning on the “Do Not Disturb” function on your cell phone if you have it. This makes it so that you’re still able to receive messages and notifications once you unlock your phone, but won’t light up each time your group chat goes off or you get tagged in a comment.