I often thought it took me 5 hours to write an English essay, however one day, around half way through the second year of the IB I timed myself to see how much time I actually spent on writing (I made sure the stop the timer whenever I took small breaks, procrastinated and did anything other than work). What hit me was how unproductive I actually was: out of the 4 hours I had been sitting at my desk only 1 hour and 45 minutes were actually spent doing what I was meant to. The worst part was that it honestly felt as though I had worked 4 hours!
This was a pivotal moment (one that came too late); I realized that I had created myself an illusion of how much I actually worked. You might think this issue doesn’t affect you but this wasn’t standard procrastination it was “stealth procrastination”; one that struck from the shadows without leaving a trace behind. I suggest that you too time yourself and see productive you actually are.
Once I had identified the issue I begun timing myself and recording my worked hours daily. I was no longer blind to the stealthy procrastination that occurred every time I worked, and was able to slowly improve my productivity. I also used this log of timed hours to identify patterns in my work habit. If I hadn’t worked for long it would serve me as a reminder and a nudge to start working and doing revision. I was also able to see how many hours I could work each day and set realistic goals. Mondays were for example a weak day, and I could only clock in around 2 hours of work (real work), whilst Thursdays were productive days and I would often see myself working over 4 hours. By having all this data I knew when and how to divided my work time effectively for homework and revision.
I strongly suggest you try logging your worked time for a month or two (it will grow on you). The information you gather could change your work dynamic for the better.
Productivity is an important part in any IB students work life. Optimizing workflow and reducing procrastination are key to accomplishing more in less time.