Studying Like A Pro, pt. 2: Defeating Procrastination

Chapter 2: Defeating Procrastination

Staying Motivated in School

In his study of human motivation, Drive, Dan Pink boils our behavior down to three key components: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose (AMP, for short). To put it simply, if you’re feeling unmotivated to do something, it’s very likely that one of those elements is missing. Don’t believe us? Think of something you don’t want to do right now. Why not?! Could one of these factors be missing?

It’s normal to feel like, in school, all of these three elements are missing. You’re not allowed to design your own schedule (lack of autonomy), you’re told what’s important and how well to understand it (lack of mastery), and subjects are chosen for you, rather than being areas you’ve developed a real interest in (lack of purpose).

When you’re planning your education and extracurriculars, it’s worth your time to keep these in mind. Say it with us: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

Getting Stuff Done: Tools, Helpers and Habits

Of course, you can’t always choose what to study. In another life, perhaps! But for now, when inner motivation is lacking, here’s a handy motto for getting important things done: Tools, Helpers and Habits. This is the trio of productivity awesomeness.


  • Tools: Google Calendar, Reminders app, distraction sheet, Quizlet, Session Buddy

  • Helpers: Friends, family, roommates, tutors, classmates

    • How to use: Ask for help! “Hey, would you mind texting me at 7pm tonight to make sure I’m writing my Lit essay?”

  • Habits: Pomodoro method, the “Get-Set” routine

    • How to use: Make it a goal to implement these every day for 15 days, and they’ll start to become second nature.

PS: Another great website for learning to “put your life in full-screen mode” is Zen Habits:

Andrew Delman