As the summer draws to an end, the deadlines for applications for many of the Physician Assistant programs throughout the country is ever so near.
Don’t let the deadline for the program of your dreams to pass you by.
You are in the driver’s seat of your future. The last thing you want to happen is get caught up in the music and lose track of the exit to get off (Think driving in the pre-voice guided GPS era).
Procrastination is one of the most common reasons one fails to submit their application prior to the deadline and a top reason for senseless mistakes made on the application.
So how can you over come the procrastination and submit a stellar application early?
1. Recognize that you are a procrastinator.
The first step to overcoming the problem is to admit to it. Hey, it is a corner stone for those over coming addiction, why not use the same principles here.
Now that you are in your twenties, or older, you know your personality and habits. If you pull all nighters working on term papers and print them out five minutes before class consider yourself a procrastinator.
Now, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I know I am a procrastinator but, I am not going to procrastinate on this task.”
2. Set up a time line.
Tasks are easier to achieve if broken down into smaller tasks.
The CASPA application is no different. It is long and mind numbing to get through it all.
If you take it one step at a time and try to complete a small section of it each day or each week, soon it will be complete and you will not feel overwhelmed by it.
Use you calendar app to create a time line and create deadlines for yourself.
3. Setting aside blocks of time.
Now that you have a time line and deadlines to follow, set up blocks of time where you can dedicate all of your focus and energy towards working and completing the designated task.
I like to start with 30 minute blocks per day or every other day. You will realize that the majority of the time the 30 minutes will be up and you are hitting that productive flow. Resulting in you having worked on the task for 45 minutes or more. Once you hit that flow take advantage, it gets you that much closer to completing the overall project.
4. Remove distractions from your workspace.
The more distractions you surround yourself with the less likely you are to focus your energy on the designated task. You always want to spend the allotted amount of time working towards your goal.
If your task requires you to work on your computer, don’t fall victim to the vicious unrelenting blackhole of clickbait. Avoid social media and your RSS feeds. One click will lead to more clicks and next thing you know you wasted the half-hour pissed at your friends for not inviting you to Yogurtland and posting pics of their desserts to rub it in.
If you are person that tends to work better with background noise, stick to music that does not require you to focus on the lyrics, such as classical or EDM. Try not to have the television on for background noise because you always turnaround to check something out that caught your attention.
Also, try not to be around groups of people or people that you know well (family/ friends). A quiet coffee shop or library that is not too crowed is ok. Ideally you would be in your bedroom or office away from others that can distract you.
5. Reward yourself.
For long time procrastinators, I know following the above mentioned steps is no easy task. This is why you should reward yourself.
The reward should be in direct proportion to the size of the task accomplished. If you successfully devoted a full thirty minutes to working on the task grab a snack or enjoy some outdoor time.
When you achieve the large task of completing and submitting your CASPA application, Its time to celebrate, go out with friends, go to the movies, spend quality time with family. But most of all Congratulations on overcoming your procrastination and getting yourself one step closer to achieving your dreams of becoming a Physician Assistant.