Thursday 2 May 2013

Speaking From Experience

When I decided I was going to do a procrastination guide, I started to look up procrastination, and find out more about it, what is is, how it works, and how to stop it. There is a lot of information about procrastination, I need to find what is useful and what isn't.

I found a good research with a lot of information and links on it, for procrastination, and how to get over procrastination, this was the website....

Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we'll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that's their way of justifying putting things off.
The bright side? It's possible to overcome procrastination—with effort.

College seems to bring out the procrastination in people. In the college setting, up to 70 percent of students identify themselves as procrastinators.

Do you procrastinate? 
It's easy to tell whether you're a real procrastinator. According to Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, real procrastinators tell themselves five lies:
• They overestimate the time they have left to perform tasks.
• They underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks.
• They overestimate how motivated they will feel the next day, the next week, the next month -- whenever they are putting things off to.
• They mistakenly think that succeeding at a task requires that they feel like doing it.
• They mistakenly believe that working when not in the mood is suboptimal.

How to get over it?
How to tackle procrastination? Dr. Ferrari recommends these strategies for reducing procrastination:
1. Make a list of everything you have to do.
2. Write a statement of intention.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Break it down into specific tasks.
5. Make your task meaningful.
6. Promise yourself a reward.
7. Eliminate tasks you never plan to do. Be honest!
8. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task. Then increase the amount by 100%.

Primary Research;
I asked some people studying Graphic Design on my course to answer some questions to help me understand what people think about the work load and how they can get through it without procrastinating.

Would you say you are a procrastinator?
Yes        13
No          7

If you are a procrastinator, when you procrastinate do you tell yourself you will do the work when you are in the mood?
Yes        10
No          3

What distracts you when you are trying to do work?
Facebook          11
Youtube             9
TV                     7
Games               2
Asos                  3
Social                8
Internet             3
Apps                 1
Tidying room   2
Food                 3
Phone               6
Twitter             3
Instagram         3

What helps you to focus on the work?
Silence            3
To do lists       7
Planning         4
Deadlines       7
Music             8
Rewards         3
Pressure         6
Food              3

I have found that the main things that distract students who are trying to do work are mostly technology based, such as Youtube, Facebook and TV, although they are also distracted by going out with friends and socialising. This is something that I am going to try and help the first years for next year to understand, that they can do these things but have to chose the right times. I want to find a way around procrastinating, although statistically 70% of students do procrastinate to a certain extent, some are worse than others. In this brief I am going to try and help people realise that they are procrastinating, as that is the first step to getting over it.

A lot of students find that when they are trying to get into their work they like to listen to music, therefore I could could come up with a playlist for them to use whilst they were working, like a motivational mix. I have also found that making lists and planning their time helps them to see how much they have to do, and how much time they have to do it in, therefore I could design some sort or organisational planner. I could also find things that would distract students from work but also be useful, such as giving them lists of blogs which will be useful for them.

Ideas to go inside the procrastination guide;
Something fun, to get readers interested
How to overcome procrastination
Motivational posters
Procrastination kit 
Procrastination quotes 

Something fun, to get readers attention;
Having little illustrations attract peoples attention and they will read what there is to say if the illustrations are good, this could be a good way to attract the first years attention.

Saying that you always hear form a procrastinator;

“I can do it tomorrow or the tomorrow of tomorrows.”

"I know I should do it, but I just can't seem to get started."

"Let me check FB or some searches in web one more time - then I'll get going."
Another funny eye catching illustration to create attention.
  • False Security: You look at your syllabus, and you see an 8-page paper due in six weeks. You’ve got plenty of time. It won’t hurt to go out with friends and unwind before doing work. 
  •  Laziness: YEY Free time! Oh, I have this assignment I forgot. Fine, let me start this and get it over with. Right after I take my nap and catch up on Revenge episodes =) 
  • Excuses: “I’ve been busy! I deserve a break from your work. I mean, I had a crazy weekend, and today I have classes all day plus an exam. I really deserve to take a few days off from thinking about any schoolwork whatsoever”. 
  • Denial: 8-page paper? No big deal, I work best under pressure anyways! I’ve got tons of time. Classes end at 3pm today, and it’s not due until 9am tomorrow. That’s a total of 18 hours. What assignment in the history of college has ever taken 18 hours? I don’t need sleep, that’s what coffee is for! I GOT THIS! 
The 6th stage is simple: REPEAT!
This is something fun, that may interest the first years, and allow them to relate to the design, and understand what it is about and maybe follow it.
Students may relate to this image, showing them what their desks could look like, then show another image showing what their desks should look like, and how much better they would feel if they did this.
 Ideas on how to overcome procrastination;
"My list was extensive and I was overcome with anxiety. It was tempting to just procrastinate even longer, but that will not solve my problem. So I came up with a reasonable and realistic solution for me: If your list is too long, then write down the first three important tasks on a separate document or sheet of paper. We all have 24 hours in a day, so focusing on three tasks in a day is achievable." Source
Giving people the opportunity to download apps, or something which will control the time that they spend doing work, and doing everything else. I could make an app myself and make it available for the first years, or I could just offer some other successful apps that are currently available, and concentrate on the designs of the procrastination guide.

"You do the stuff that makes you feel good now, even though you know it’ll affect you negatively in the future. You ever wonder why doing laundry, cleaning your room or writing a piece on procrastination all seem to become so much more interesting than that thing you should be doing? Gratification, that’s why! Why feel good later when you can feel good now! The thing is, your brain isn’t very good at planning ahead, it’s really only concerned about the ‘you’ in the here and now, even though we all know they’re both the same person. Confusing I know, but sometimes you really are your own worst enemy…."
  1. Get up and move 
  2. Setup reminders 
  3. Get a motivation buddy 
  4. Make yourself accountable 
  5. Create something everyday (anything that gets you into a creative mood and gets you working) 
  6. Wake up early 
  7. Go to sleep early 
  8. Clean and clear as you go 
  9. Cut the cable 
  10. Just do it (no excuses) 
  11. Schedule time blocks 
  12. Follow a task list 
  13. Have a system 
  14. Don’t check email (check it after your done working) 
  15. Destroy social networks 
  16. Time yourself 
  17. Track yourself 
  18. Computerize when you can 
  19. Create a playlist 
  20. Identify and face your fear 
  21. Realize it will never be perfect 
  22. Become mindful 
  23. Set “goals” for the day 
  24. Give yourself a break 
  25. Stick with tools 
  26. Entertain yourself 
  27. Work less 
  28. Have some quiet time every day 
  29. Don’t settle

Procrastination is an epidemic. We all suffer through it and most of the time procrastination wins. I personally get distracted easily and would rather watch paint dry than study. Through trial and error my friends and I have found a couple ways to help beat procrastion. Hopefully these tips help you – from one procrastinator to another.

1) Turn OFF Facebook!- You all know what I mean. Facebook is a very bad distractor. I used to write my essay for 2 seconds then go on facebook for a few minutes, then rinse and repeat. This also goes for Twitter, oovoo, Skype, Youtube…..
multimedia=big distraction

2) Put time aside at the same time as your friends for your work and studie.  If your friends are also studying and doing their work they can’t drag you away from your work.
3) When studying with a friend- DON’T GOSSIP! Get to the point and study. Your professor isn’t going to care about Jessica’s bad hair dye or Jason’s sweet moves on call of duty. 
4) Don’t torture yourself- Study for 45 minutes, then take a break. And by break I mean eat something or walk around. Get away from the computer for at least 15 minutes before returning to your work. Your brain needs a break.
5) Don’t under-study- With what I said in #4, take a SHORT break. Don’t study 45 minutes then go out for two hours.
6) JUST DO IT!- Who wants to study or do that pesky English paper? Everyone has to do it. If you get it done early, you don’t have to worry about it later.
7) Don’t go out too often- Don’t over party. If you need to get something done, don’t go out. I’m quite sure there are going to be plenty more opportunities to go out and have fun.

Now that I have been a killjoy, realize that college isn’t just about constant work. Have fun, but do what you went to college to do.  You are paying lots of money, don’t waste it ignoring what you’re supposed to do.
Self control is an application which when installed it can never be taken back, even if it is deleted the app will still work, therefore when you set a certain amount of time for something, such as facebook, when it turns off, it is off for good.

Motivational posters;
Most of the students in the first year are in student accommodation, therefore when they first get to their flats, they will see that there is a lot of blank walls which need filling. Most of the students who move into student accommodation find that they use the posters that they are given in freshers week, just so that they have something to stick on their walls, this is why it would be a good idea to produce a poster in the procrastination guide so that students can have something on their walls which will help them do their work.
Simple and minimal, but I don't find this attractive, the information is okay on some of them, but may need more explaining on others.
The posters could also be quotes from people who suffer from procrastination, and can see these posters and relate to them.
These are sayings which procrastinators often say, and it would be a good thing to have as a poster as the students will look at it and remind them that they are procrastinating, so they think stop doing what ever they are doing, and do some work.
This is something else that people often say to themselves, and again it can be a reminder on their walls.
This is using a very popular logo and slogan and completely changing the meaning of it, Nike is all about getting up and doing things, this will influence mt design, as Nike is a very popular brand and 'just do it' is a very motivational slogan, which is very well known.
Showing how to organise a desk, as I am wanting to promote a clean area a clean mind, this would be a good example, I could do some illustrations of how students should be working, and how their desks should be organised so that they do some work.
This is a clever poster, although very simple, this is the kind of this which I am thinking about doing in my design, looking at type based posters, or simple illustrations.
Using minimum text but with a photograph, this is something that I am looking at as it is funny which matches my tone of voice, but it also have image on it, although mine would be an illustration rather than a photograph, I think that the design is very balanced.
Also a good balance of text and image, with impact in the text.
Although this is funny, that is not the reason why I think this will influence my design in speaking from experience, I like the use of colour, negative space and the typeface used. The two different grey tones with the white looks really good together.
Simple sans serif font works really well for this design, this is the king of poster I would like to produce, something minimal but effective.

Procrastination kit;
Having post it notes in the procrastination kit will help the first years to note down things which they have to do, and stick them up around their flat or room, or around their desks.

Procrastination quotes;

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”
Pablo Picasso

“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do - the day after.”
Oscar Wilde

“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield  

“If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
Rita Mae Brown 

“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”
Charles Dickens 

“Someday is not a day of the week.”
Janet Dailey 

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
Leonardo da Vinci 

“Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.”
Steven Wright 

“My mother always told me I wouldn't amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, 'Just wait.”
Judy Tenuta 

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday”
Don Marquis 

“Absolutely not. I'm an expert in procrastination, but the last thing I want you to think is that I'm incompetent, too. Because I'm actually pretty good at what I do." -Jo”
Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven 

“Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.”
Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out 

“Procrastination is opportunity's natural assassin.”
Victor Kiam 

“Procrastination is also a subtle act of corruption – it corrupts valuable time”
Amit Abraham 

“Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest 

“How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”
Stephen Richards, Overcoming Procrastination 

“Nothing says work efficiency like panic mode.”
Don Roff 

“Let's make progress, not excuses.”
Justin Cotillard 

The quotes can relate to the students, when producing my publication, this will influence my design, as I could use some of these quotes in my work, I could also create posters using these quotes alone, as long as the quote is strong enough to stand alone.

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