By: Zahin Tasnin
Procrastination is an emotional but unnecessary act of putting things off to do later. While procrastinating, you might avoid taking action until the last minute. These activities could be undesirable and even complicated but crucial. Often you will give yourself excuses such as “I am too tired” or “I will do it later,” but procrastination can lead to stress and missed deadlines. Instead, you would opt for something more comfortable and pleasurable, but not as time-sensitive or relevant for the time being.
Procrastination is something everyone experiences at least once in their lifetime, but with the right resources anyone can improve their time management and get their things done. Below you will find four tips and tricks to overcome procrastination:
Find the right resources: Before you start anything, sit down with a pen and paper. Gather any resources you need to build your road map. Some examples are: to-do lists and online calendars and try to reach out to your parents or advisers, with whom you can discuss your goals and expectations. If you are more comfortable with digital applications, feel free to use apps that let you plan, schedule, and check off tasks after you finish a task. If you are unsatisfied with any of those apps or websites, give the old-fashioned pen and paper a chance.
Set your priorities straight: Get a clear understanding of what is most important and what steps are necessary to accomplish it. Building a road map helps you reach your destination more efficiently, whereas a lack of planning can form vagueness and misdirection. Writing down tasks without any deadline is dysfunctional, as it builds no urgency. As students, your teachers might have already given you deadlines for assignments. After you have information on all the deadlines from different classes, you must note them down in one place. In the future, when you start working, this tip will come in handy as you create your schedule and set deadlines. When you have all the deadlines and assignment descriptions in one place, then you can decide in which order you want to complete them as some may have harder deadlines than others.
Be honest with yourself: Set a schedule for yourself that you know you can accomplish but that still pushes you to be better every day. When you have a concrete timetable, try to stick to it every day. Slacking off even for a single day can break your motivation. However, if your schedule is more than you can handle, adjust it to fit your needs and availability.
Planning for a project: It can be intimidating to accomplish a big project early rather than waiting until the last minute, such as a research paper, college application, or semester final. However, rushing through important tasks often can lead to anxiety and lessen your work quality. So just after you are assigned a lengthy assignment, take some time to plan it out as soon as possible. Try to break it down into smaller tasks with your deadlines. For instance, you might want to study for a test on the weekends more than on the weekdays. This system will help finish things promptly instead of jeopardizing your mental health.
Building good habits and disciplining oneself is easier said than done. However, the longer you wait to act for personal improvement, the longer it will take you to reach your highest potential. If you need help to start this journey, begin by asking your parents, advisors, or friends for their advice. Do not wait to find the right time or place. Start planning now and see how it guides you to a better tomorrow.
Knaus, W. J. (2016). Overcoming Procrastination for Teens. Instant Help Books.
Tracy, B., & Leinberger, A. (2021). Eat That Frog! For Students. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.