Procrastination: Biggest Obstacle to Your Learning

Okay, so you’re preparing for a job interview at a private bank coming Monday, which is why you’ve signed up for The Financial Analyst Skills Training (FAST) online course from SKILLFIN LEARNING.

You’ve already mastered the first couple of chapters. You are a natural! At this pace you should be able to finish the entire course this weekend. That’s great!

But there is this amazing new show on Netflix that everyone is talking about. Just one episode and you say you’ll get back to learning Financial Modeling. There’s still a lot of time left for the interview….

The first episode was so amazing that you watch another, and then another….until you’ve seen the entire series and it’s already 11 pm at night.

You’ve wasted an entire day when you should have been preparing for your interview and picking up critical Financial Analyst skills. You say you’re tired and you’ll wake up early tomorrow and finish the damned course.

But it doesn’t work that way. You’re already under a lot of stress in the morning and can barely concentrate. You wander off, and decide to call your friend, hoping that would relax you.

You know how it’s like when you call your friend, the conversation goes on and on and on, and before you know it you’ve been on the call 45 minutes!

Phew! The stress is unbearable. So you get started with the learning again. Okay, you want a coffee now. That could refresh you. So you go to the nearby Starbucks, and spend an hour there checking out what your friends are doing on Facebook.

…..We could go on. This is just an example of a day in any young person’s life these days. Young people of today are very good at using technology – the internet, smartphones, social media…but are they necessarily smarter than their parents’ generation?

That’s hard to tell – Today, you have access to all the information you need at your fingertips. You don’t have to go to a crowded coaching class anymore, you can pick up all the critical job-oriented skills you need online from sites such as SKILLFIN LEARNING, and follow the online courses on your smartphone, laptop or tablet.

But with so much going on in your life, with so many things begging for your attention – Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, hundreds of TV channels and more – it’s so easy to procrastinate, get distracted and lose focus.

Procrastination is the biggest impediment to your learning, make no mistake about that. It is like a disease that eats away at your productivity.

According to Dr. Piers Steel, writer of the book The Procrastination Equation, young people are biologically and socially predisposed to procrastination – which means putting off until tomorrow that should have been done today.

"Aside from the cliché that students are more impulsive, in your early 20s you're still developing your pre-frontal cortex, home of the will power," Dr. Steel explains in an interview with The Guardian.

The closer you are to a source of temptation or fun – such as Facebook or the Tinder app on your smartphone, the more likely it is that you’re likely to indulge. This is especially true when you have a smartphone with you all the time and sit with your laptop 10 to 12 hours a day.

What happens is even the short breaks you take from your learning can develop into hours of wasted time.

"Students are caught in a perfect storm of procrastination," Dr. Steel says. And the only way to beat that is to get rid of the temptation. To begin with, separate “work” or “study” from “relaxation” and “fun”.

Set a fixed time for your learning, and during that time do not browse the internet, don’t go to any of your favorite social media sites, switch off your smartphone, stay away from YouTube, keep the TV off and make it clear to your family that you don’t want to be disturbed for any reason.

Set an hour aside every night for the gym. Running on a treadmill for about 20 minutes, lifting weights clears up the mind, calms you down and give you focus.

Meditate for about 15 to 20 minutes every day. Meditation is an excellent stress buster.

And yes, just delete your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat – they are just a waste of time. Use WhatsApp for things that matter to you, not to gossip about politics, movies and stuff like that.

Remember

You can’t control whatever happens around you, you can’t control other people and the choices they make. You can only control yourself, control your mind and what you do with your time.

It’s really about you and what you want to make out of your life. You’re responsible for your own successes and failures. Exercise massive self-discipline and concentration in your life. When you do that, you can achieve absolutely anything in this world.

Focus on continuous learning and develop critical skills that make a difference to you, and join any of the online courses at SkillFin Learning that you find interesting.

Good luck!

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