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GET STARTED ON OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

Human beings are funny creatures. Some are very efficient when it comes to fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting deadlines. Others are…not so good at it. In fact, some seem to specialize in putting things off until the last possible minute. Maybe that is just the way they work best or that extra rush of adrenaline they get from a looming deadline gives them the burst of creative juice they need.

Whatever the case, procrastination is a very bad habit. Life works best when everything follows some form of basic schedule. That allows for the completion of things on time and in the best quality, and also for us to form and maintain rewarding relationships.

WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE

If there were something unpleasant that needs doing, wouldn’t the best plan of action be to get it over with? You would think so, but many people instead give in to the temptation of dealing with it later. This is often a way of avoiding stressful situations. Unfortunately, the problem here is that as tension builds and the deadline gets closer, your stress levels will undoubtedly increase.

Some people procrastinate because they are simply bad at prioritizing. If you have a test coming up, studying should be your main activity, right? Unfortunately, someone who is not good at prioritizing may think it is more important to see a movie on opening day so that no one spoils it for them. That sort of thinking is not going to get you ahead in school or life.
Let’s use homework as an example. As a triOS student, it is especially important to stay on top of homework because many of your courses only run for 2-4 weeks. That means that you will learn something new every day and need to do your part in preparing for the next class.

If you don’t prepare, you will likely not be able to participate in the class discussion. It is one thing to learn through listening, but the learning experience is much more beneficial when it is interactive. Simply put, you retain more because your brain is more active and receptive to new information.

HOW TO CHANGE A BAD HABIT

Here are some basic things you can do to overcome procrastination:

  • Think about why you procrastinate. Why do you put things off when you know it is not a good idea? If you can recognize why you procrastinate, it is easier to come up with strategies that will stop you from doing it.
  • Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! Most of us have multiple things commanding our attention, but they are not all of the same importance. Look at your schedule and think about what demands the most of your time. Once you have that list, consider how you can alter your schedule so that you have the time needed to do this.
  • If you are not sure of how to balance your study and homework demands, seek advice from fellow students and your instructor. Their advice may involve breaking your work down into more manageable sections, finding a study partner, or working in a less distracting environment.
  • Think about your long term goals. It is important to think about the here and now, but also of the future. If you can figure out where you would like to be in life 20 years from now and have a good idea of how to achieve that, you will feel confident about putting those plans into motion.

So be proactive in overcoming procrastination. And yes, get started on it right now!