An assignment is given to you. You think to yourself, “Today is the day. I’m gonna start to work on this as soon as my foot steps through the door tonight. I will NOT put this off!”. When you get home that night you’re just too tired to even begin to look at the assignment. Meh, you can do it tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes the next day, and the next, and the next until one day you look up at the calendar to see…oh CRAP! The assignment is due tomorrow and you haven’t even attempted to start it! Now, in an anxiety-filled panic you start the project and realize you’ll probably need to chug coffee or whatever source of caffeine you can find in order to pull an all nighter to get this done! (it was a lot longer than you expected) The stress is real. You throw together at least a mediocre version of what you know you COULD have come up with if only you had more time!
A topic/concept we are all too familiar with: procrastination. I am probably the Queen of Procrastination but, I have also developed and refined some ways to overcome this. I will now share these tactics so as you feel yourself slipping further and further down into the rabbit hole that is procrastination, you may have a better chance to prevail!
One of the reasons a lot of us tend to procrastinate is usually the size of the project at hand. We just do not like the sound of sitting down to do something that will take us forever to accomplish when there are so many other interesting things that we could be doing with our time. By procrastinating these large projects we tend to make things worse for ourselves as the amount of work increases and the amount of time we have to do them decreases. My solution for this problem is to BREAK UP THE PROJECT. Make yourself a plan by writing out what you will do for this project each day until it is due. Day one could simply be making up a title or choosing a subject for the project. Simple, small tasks are much easier and achievable then trying to get together the whole project at one time. Honestly, our brains are not meant for doing one project with no breaks for extended periods of time. It simply doesn’t work. This is why when you do this you probably find it hard to stay concentrated on the task at hand. Our brain wants a different thing to focus on.
If this doesn’t work, you could try to TRICK YOURSELF into getting the project done on time. “How does one trick themselves?” , you may be asking. Something that I personally like to do is write out all of my assignment’s due dates on my calendar. For bigger projects, I will write the due date as being a day or two before it is actually due. Then when the time comes around, even if I DO procrastinate and do the assignment the night before (I think) it’s due, I still have plenty of time to go back and revise it before the actual due date. Pretty clever, huh?
Hopefully you learned something or at least were entertained for a few minutes from reading this! Feel free to comment the things that you like to do to help overcome procrastination. Together we shall prevail! …but maybe we can start tomorrow.