Just Do It:  Eliminate Procrastination

Just Do It:  Eliminate Procrastination

Miyana Bahl & Maggie Ngo, Staff Writers

Coming to the close of academic Quarter Three, many WHS students are starting to feel done with school, causing them to procrastinate on completing their work. Procrastination can cause a build up of work, stress, and can eventually lead to a breakdown. It can be a very difficult thing to overcome because part of procrastination is feeling unmotivated. 

There are many strategies that can help stop procrastination, but not everyone’s the same. Finding strategies that can motivate you to get work done, and complete your daily tasks is extremely important. Incomplete and delayed tasks can pile up and cause an imminent amount of stress and could derail your mental health. 

Procrastination can get the best of all of us sometimes, but we can decrease that chance by finding strategies that work.

— Miyana Bahl & Maggie Ngo

Rewarding Yourself for Completing an Assignment

Rewarding yourself when you complete an assignment can be a great way to motivate you. This can create an incentive to finish your work. For example, if you have a math homework assignment you can say to yourself, “If I finish 10 problems, I can have a piece of candy.” Completing an assignment can be a reward in itself, too. If you have a lot of work, and no motivation, try to add a larger reward. Ideas for larger rewards can include, buying something you have been wanting, starting a new TV show, trying a new restaurant, and other things that make you happy. Science explains that you can associate pleasure with completing your work. If you are happy every time you finish homework or classwork, then you will want to do more work. 

Make Lists!

When writing down the tasks you have to complete for the day, you can achieve a better understanding of how much you really have to do, and how long each thing will take you. For some people, this method can be overwhelming, but it is entirely personal preference. When creating these lists it is usually preferred to write them on paper. When it is on paper, you have a better satisfaction of being able to cross the item off of your list. Lists also create a better understanding of which assignments/tasks are the most important or time sensitive.

Set Small Goals for Yourself

If you create small goals for yourself, your workload may seem a lot less overwhelming. For example, if you tell yourself that you want to finish work for a specific class, then the work seems smaller. Another way to create these goals is to make them time-oriented. You may tell yourself to finish a certain assignment by a certain time. This gives you a reason to motivate yourself and to complete this goal. This also sets a much clearer path to completion, and you can focus on smaller tasks instead of the overarching goal of completing everything.

Organize Yourself or Workspace

If you are in a more organized space, it helps you feel less overwhelmed. This increases productivity because if your brain notices disorganization, it can stress you out and trigger procrastination. If you feel you are getting distracted, take five minutes to tidy your area and try again. Decluttering helps you focus, and if you keep your space clean, it will help you in the future.

Join a Study Group

Working with a study group can be an effective strategy, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. Joining a study group would mean that you would have to pick people that you do not know as well. Finding people that need to get work done, but are not interested in chatting and becoming easily distracted, can be difficult if you struggle with meeting new people. Studying with others can supply strong motivation. Though it can be more fun to study with your friends, they create a lot of distraction and little motivation. Study groups can be a good option, but make sure it is the correct one for you. Also if you are working around others, you are more likely to stay on task and not get distracted by other things, such as your phone. If you are just in an environment with others, make sure that they will keep you on task and not be a distraction.

Talk to or Work with a Teacher

Talking to a teacher may seem like the worst thing to do at first glance, but it can be very helpful. If you have a large amount of work built up, finding a trusted teacher to sit down and talk with can be beneficial. The teacher can help you sit down and make a plan. Having a new perspective that is not overwhelmed and only seeing defined tasks can help clear your head and make it easier for you to see what you need to do. Most of the time our brains over complicate things when we are stressed. Going to a teacher who is not stressed and can be trusted can uncloud your vision and help you get your work done. 

Take Breaks

This strategy only works if you have already started to work, but you don’t know where to go from there. When you have a lot of work to do, and you have been working on it for a while, it is important to give your brain a break. Taking a break can just be leaving your workspace and doing something else. You can go for a short walk, have a snack, listen to some music, or anything that can briefly distract yourself. Brain breaks decrease stress, and when you come back to your work you can try a new angle. If you don’t give yourself a break you will continue to be stuck as you are trying the same thing again and again. Even if it’s just five minutes, you will notice that these brakes will increase your productivity, and decrease procrastination.

Figure out what Other Stressors are in Your Life

A lot of people tend to procrastinate more when there are other things in their life that are stressing them out. For example, if you have a big test coming up, you are more likely to procrastinate because the test may occupy your thoughts. If you are able to figure out what these distractions and stressful upcoming events are, you may be able to stop the procrastination. Confronting stressors in your life is not only good for getting more work done, but also to decrease your overall stress and anxiety.

Positive Thoughts

Thinking positively can seem cliché, but it can be very motivating. When you think positive thoughts it can bring up your mood, rather than only thinking about the negative overwhelming side of things. When you think positively or think that you can achieve something, then you are less likely to give up. If you have a positive outlook on things, it motivates you to want to do it and work hard so that the positive outcome can happen. 

Create a Calendar 

Creating a Calendar can be used as a preventative measure, instead of an in the moment procrastination eliminator. For example, if you know that you are going to have a big project due in three weeks, set a schedule, even if it makes it so that you only work on the project in small bits. With the calendar available, it makes procrastinating all of your work less likely. You still may have some sort of work, but if you follow a set schedule, then it will be a significantly smaller workload.  

Procrastination can get the best of all of us sometimes, but we can decrease that chance by finding strategies that work. Not all strategies will work for everyone, but using trial and error we can create a mix of the ones that work best for us.