Don’t wait, it’s the end of the school year


Kay Tieu, Staff Writer

To procrastinate is to delay action or put off doing something intentionally. Perfectionism, feeling overwhelmed, feeling like you don’t know where to start, disliking a task, and a lack of motivation are all common causes that lead to procrastination. Most students have procrastinated before, and while many find that they do end up completing the assignment before the deadline (albeit last minute), there are some that end up not finishing on time, or at all. Regardless of whether students complete tasks on time or not, many end up feeling its very real impacts on their life. I know that I certainly have.

The biggest effect procrastination has had on my life is sleeping later and feeling more tired overall. I realized how common this consequence of procrastination is.  I kept saying “I’ll do my homework later,” but that later turned into hours and I had to finish my homework late at night. For other students, they find that their work starts to pile up and they start getting behind in school. I’ve found that it’s also impacted some of my relationships and that I feel a sense of guilt when I procrastinate.

Since it’s such a common problem, I was curious about what some of my friends do to procrastinate less. They said that putting away distractions (like silencing their phones) and rewarding themselves after finishing an assignment (by allowing themselves to play a game, or treat themselves) helped them get started on their work. Others noted that being in the right environment helped them. Staying at the library, or going to tutoring can help encourage students to focus and do their work because while they’re at school, they’ll be more likely to expect to learn and work (in comparison to being at home, where their brain might associate their room and house with relaxation). Doing homework on campus might help reduce any resistance to start working and some might find that motivation to get started comes easier.

However, if students are still lacking motivation, it may help to practice self-discipline, or focusing on their goals. Sophomore Marlon Salazar-Villegas shared, “…when I do [lack motivation,] I just push myself to think about getting into a good college and getting a good future and the effort to live up to my own and my family’s expectations.” In addition to these tips, I’ve been doing casual research into techniques to help mitigate my procrastination recently, and some of the things I’ve put into practice have helped.

For many, what ultimately gets them to start working on their assignment is the anxiety, panic, and pressure from an immediate deadline. Some sources recommend using timers to create artificial pressure to start and finish an assignment. Recently, I’ve been setting a timer for two minutes and telling myself to work for just those few minutes. There’s less resistance to get started because the time commitment doesn’t seem as daunting, but I find that once I get started, I enter a “flow state” in which I actually want to continue working. I pair it with the Pomodoro Method, in which I work for twenty-five minutes and then take a break for five minutes, and repeat. Since my work sessions seem like short sprints, rather than a long two hour marathon, I feel more motivated to actually do my work. In addition, I’ve been trying to dedicate time to do work by putting it in my schedule and blocking it out because it’ll make the deadlines I set for myself feel more concrete. However, my efforts haven’t been consistent, so I do end up procrastinating from time to time. Some day, I’d like to finally be rid of this procrastination habit.