Procrastination: The Key to Stress & Lower productivity
I’ve been there.
You have a huge homework assignment that your teacher assigned two weeks ago, but the two-week mark rolls around and you realize you’ve barely done anything.
I know how frustrating this can be, especially because you know you did this to yourself. You know that you could have done it instead of scrolling on Instagram for half an hour last Saturday. You know you could’ve done it during study hall when you were talking to your friends….But you didn’t.
You wanted to be productive, but you weren’t. And then you tell yourself it won’t happen again, and two weeks later you find yourself in the exact same situation you were in before.
Although I’ve certainly never been an awful procrastinator (probably because of my anxiety… I can’t relax until I get it done), I’ve still struggled with it a little.
Usually it’s because there’s something that I need to do, but I don’t want to do it. There always seems to be a more fun, exciting, not-boring thing to do, and then time goes by and I realize I’ve done nothing.
It’s especially hard when it’s on your computer because there are a lot of potential distractions, especially if you have quite a few tabs open.
If you want to be productive and manage your time well, though, this is not the best strategy. I’m sure some people go their whole lives without caring about their procrastination as long as they get it done, but I know that for me, I find it to be very annoying when I procrastinate things, especially when I end up staying up late as a result.
I think I’ve gotten a lot better at time management, though, and even though I sometimes fall into the procrastination trap again, it’s definitely an improvement.
Set Your Own Deadlines
When teachers give you big projects, yes, it’s annoying, but it’s not gonna stop. You’re gonna have to figure out how to manage your time eventually.
One of the ways that you could try is setting your own deadlines, which can help you to manage your time so that you know exactly how far you need to be on your project at any given moment in time.
Teachers won’t always be there to tell you when you need to be done with each and every step of the process. Don’t just play it by ear; schedule it strategically. Break whatever you need to do into smaller chunks so that you can set your own deadline for each of these chunks.
Let these deadlines be almost as important to you as deadlines that teachers set for you, and make sure that you hold yourself accountable for these deadlines (we’ll cover how to do that next).
Write it down in your planner or whatever else you use to keep track of assignments, but make sure that you have it written down somewhere so that you can see it visually.
Hold Yourself Accountable
No matter how well you schedule your work, if you don’t actually act on it you won’t get anywhere.
When you say your gonna do something, when you promise yourself you’re gonna do something, then you probably should actually do it. If you don’t, then anything you tell yourself you’re gonna do goes down the drain because you can’t trust yourself.
There are a few ways that you can go about trying to hold yourself accountable so that you don’t run into the problem of just procrastinating your carefully thought-out plan to get your homework done.
Tell them that you’re going to report back to them on how well you executed your plan on every one/two/three/however-many-days-you-want basis. That way, you’ll be more motivated to do it because you want to be able to tell them that you were productive.
Although this can serve as a substitute for telling someone, you can implement both writing and telling someone your plan to see which one works better or to keep yourself even more accountable, although it might get repetitive if you report back to yourself and someone else. Whatever works.
Have a piece of paper where you write down whether or not you got everything accomplished that you wanted to do because then you’ll be able to reflect on a) whether or not you go everything you wanted to done, b) why you did/didn’t get everything done, and c) how this can help you do better in the future.
Even though you probably won’t forget what needs to be done, it’s easy to get distracted sometimes, but if you’re constantly being reminded, it might motivate you to finish it just so that you can get rid of all the reminders.
Putting one, two, or even all three of these steps into action can help you to hold yourself more accountable.
Remember, plans are pretty useless without action, so making sure that you have a strategy to ensure that you’ll execute your plan is important.
Lack of accountability can be one of the biggest roadblocks that stops you from getting things done. Hopefully, by implementing these strategies you’ll be able to overcome that obstacle and go through with your plan.
have an organization system for assignments
While you might have one or two long-term assignments, you can’t forget about the short-term ones that are coming in every single day. These are important to get done, too, so you have to find a way to balance the long and short term assignments. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Procrastination can be really annoying, but there are ways to overcome it.
Remember that YOU are in control of your own work habits, and since this is mostly in your hands, you can overcome this obstacle and start being more productive.
You can help yourself overcome procrastination by setting your own deadlines, finding ways to hold yourself accountable, and having an organized system for completing assignments. All in all, it’s gonna take some planning, some follow-through, and some organization.
Remember that procrastination is something that a lot of people struggle with. You are absolutely not alone. Overcoming procrastination is difficult, but it’s definitely possible.
Have you overcome procrastination? What’s worked for you? Comment below!