Procrastination: The Art of Keeping Up With Yesterday

By: Adriana Szaboova Co-Editor

Thomas Jefferson once said, "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Jefferson was referring to a little thing called procrastination. We have all been guilty of procrastination. Every one of us has put something off until the last minute, then crammed it in the time we had left, creating stress. With a few simple steps, you can avoid creating unnecessary stress for yourself and get back to living your life. Time management can help with this problem. Of course we all know those select few that push things to the last second and then manage to whip up an amazing project. For those of us who do not possess this talent, here are some simple steps towards good time management:

  • After getting the assignment, task or creating a goal, be sure to write down in a calendar or somewhere in constant sight. A monthly calender or phone reminders are perfect. This will ensure the task is remembered.
  • The next step is to plan in advance. If a term paper is due in class, make a monthly, weekly or even daily goal. This takes the stress off of the student and the task will be complete before it needs to be.
  • Consider the paper to be 25 pages long and that it is due in three months time. Make a goal to research one week. Maybe create an outline one week and write a page the next. As you immerse yourself deeper into the paper, you will find that writing pages will soon become non burdensome.
  • The next step is the most important. After creating a plan, force yourself to stick to it. Focus on one thing at a time, one goal at a time. This may be easier for some, but for others this will be the most difficult.
  • Acknowledging distractions and even feelings is important and a huge step. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are huge distractions. We all have lives, jobs and families which may all together become taxing and time consuming. To avoid any stress, plan to finish the project two weeks in advance to have some room to play around with.
  • If long term goals are a challenge, try a fall back plan. Focus on smaller goals. Weekly goals, even daily goals are a way to stay on track. Also, when students feel like they have accomplished something, no matter how small, it makes the student feel better. It is another form of motivation.
  • An important part to this step is to reward yourself. It may sound silly, but we all do things for rewards, whether it be a grade or a salary. A simple reward can be buying yourself something small or going out with friends. Using this incentive system, students are in a way bribing themselves to finish their own work. Think of it as motivation.
  • Once the project is complete, inform your boss, professor or whoever gave you the task. By letting them know, they may accept it early and give you extra points or even review it for you and tall you what corrections to make. This is a step that many people lose due to procrastination.

In the end, it is up to you to stop procrastinating. Only you can take charge, no one else. If you find yourself still procrastinating, do not be afraid to ask for help. People are willing to help.