“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.”- Martin Luther
Ah, the lovely art of procrastination. We all have been there. According to Merriam-Webster.com, procrastination means “to put off intentionally and habitually.” With it being junior year for me, I personally find it hard to put off school assignments. I will admit I have procrastinated a few times in my life, but rarely will you see Willie Yang spending three hours watching a Netflix show in order to put off her major works data sheet for Mrs. Keen’s English class due the very next day. That is why I will be giving four tips that I personally use to avoid procrastination.
By forcing yourself to write out what needs to be done, you will be more likely to do it especially if it is on a bright piece of paper worthy of your attention. I personally draw in little squares next to my tasks because it drives me nuts if I do not check the box by the end of the day. Having your goals in front of you will remind you of your priorities and if the box is unchecked at the end of the day, you will be constantly reminded that you had a whole day to complete it, yet you did not succeed in doing so. With that being said, not completing your to-do list has to give you some sort of dissatisfaction. Just think of the list as a game that you must complete everyday before going to bed in order to win the ultimate prize at the end. The prize, of course, is having one less thing to worry about in your life.
Tip #2: Do the easy tasks first!
They always say to tackle the hardest test questions on an exam first, but personally I find that tackling the easiest questions first is much more beneficial because you can already secure some points for your test grade. This also applies to everyday tasks. By doing the easiest thing on your list, such as researching more about your senior project, you can already accomplish something in just a few minutes versus starting with the hardest task that will probably take a couple of hours to finish, like writing your research paper.
Tip #3: Have a physical object that gives you motivation
The best way to stop procrastinating is to have something physically near you that motivates you to do your best. For me, it is Yale baseball cap hanging on my calendar, and no I am not planning on applying there, but the hat motivates me to try my hardest at everything I do because the school itself reminds me of success. Success can only come through hard work.
Tip #4: Face your fears slowly
You see, we tend to procrastinate because we are afraid of taking the next step. That task might be the six page research paper Mrs. Keen wants us to write. The fears of starting the essay might include not knowing how to start your essay in the first place, not knowing what words to use, or not knowing how to do MLA format in general. What I am trying to say is that if you can get over your fear of doing a task by taking it one step at a time, then eventually you will have allowed yourself to become comfortable in the task itself. So going back to the essay example, you can slowly get rid of your fears by planning out to write an introduction one day and then one body paragraph another day. That way it is less overwhelming.