One of the issues that we go through as students – besides stressing over our summative – is procrastination. We get home after a long and stressful day at a school, we tell ourselves “I’ve got tons of homework and reviews to do, when I get home It’ll be the first thing that I do”. We all know that we’re just lying to ourselves. No matter how productive you’re, sometimes falling into that dark pit of Youtube, video games and social media is easier than we anticipate. Youtube is probably the number one website that many of us struggle with. Especially those Pewdie Pie followers, they know what I’m talking about; once your favourite Youtuber posts a new video, we don’t even think twice. But, is killing my productivity all there’s to procrastination? Besides delaying our tasks, how does it impact us? Why is the temptation so great that it prevents me from completing my tasks? Is there a way to stop procrastination?
For starters, there are so many misconceptions about procrastination. For me, I felt that procrastination only meant that I’m lazy, unproductive, immature etc. Right of the bat, let me say this’s not the case. You might assume procrastination as this lightweight thing that is stopping you from completing your tasks; however, this issue goes beyond that. Psychologists have found that procrastination is highly associated with our emotional brain; it’s a coping mechanism directed by our own failures and fears. I’m sure many of you have felt this way; when you avoid that science homework that’s already been driving you crazy in class, you focus on something less stressful such as watching Liza Koshy, to give our brain temporary relief. A the end of it we rush to complete our work, not caring about the quality anymore, losing sleep because of it and getting anxious. I’VE DONE THIS SO MANY TIMES, SO I KNOW EXACTLY HOW IT FEELS LIKE.
Underneath procrastinate lies that fear and anxiety of completing tasks that we aren’t thrilled about. Procrastination can have a negative impact on your mental health. We might not have thought about this – I know I didn’t – but procrastination doesn’t just affect you. It affects everyone around you. Here’s the thing; when you procrastinate all day and turn in your work late, then you’re also setting your teachers back because they can’t mark you’re working on time. And as you know, they have certain deadlines, especially with the reports coming up.
I know, it’s not easy to simply stop procrastinating; especially if it’s something that’s affecting every aspect of your life. This’s probably gonna sound cliche but, start with setting goals. I know we’ve heard this more than a million times almost every class, but by breaking down your huge tasks into smaller ones that can be done throughout the day it could be manageable for you. For example, if your humanities research is due a week from a certain time, start by just spending an hour doing the basics: guiding questions, keywords, justification of relevance and action plan. You might be surprised by how much you can complete in just an hour if you stay focused. Another way to tackle procrastination is to block time. Some tasks simply can’t be broken down and need to be completed in just one go. Depending on the task and your focus level, limit the amount of time you spend on that task. For instance, 30 minutes working on that task and then 10 minutes of break. While it might appear useless and unduable at first, it’ll get better as you get used to it.
I suggested these two methods because I’m applying them in my life and so far, it’s getting better. Of course, they’re numerous other ways to tackle procrastination but find one that works for you. Just start small and then move your way up. And I know what you’re thinking, “what if I still procrastinate after doing all of these? What if I simply can’t stop?” then it’s time to involve an adult. It’s probably the last thing you want to do, but it might be the best option if procrastination is taking over your life. And remember, it’s not just happening to you! So don’t feel alone 🙂