By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Face the Facts
Procrastination is such a simple thing really. Delaying the inevitable, drawing out the future, wasting time, doing everything but what you should be, do I need to go on? It becomes a sad thing, though, when one realizes that procrastination has already set in, and it is only the third week of school. We’re talking about 59 more days of classes until Christmas break. I think this will be a long semester.
I see it all around me. Everywhere I look people are discussing what they should have done, or should be doing but instead they’re strolling around campus, hanging out with friends while browsing the Internet and watching the back of their eyelids for a few moments. It is an addiction almost everyone has, and it is a vicious cycle that takes discipline to break. Ninety-five percent of college students procrastinate on academic tasks such as writing papers, reading for class and studying for exams, according to the National Procrastination Week Web site.
The psychological self-help Web site explains how the cycle begins. You know you have to write that paper by next Friday, so you tell yourself you need to start. Soon you’ve already begun delaying and you begin to make excuses. Then you delay enough that you become self-critical and have to get it done or else. Once you quickly get it done, you berate yourself and swear you’ll never do that again, except that you almost immediately begin the process again with the next important task at hand.
Life is too short to delay everything. Think of what you could accomplish if you began today instead of tomorrow. Take some stress away and begin something right now.
Try one of these techniques and see if it helps at all. I’ve found them to be helpful in getting everything done I need to, so I can enjoy what is around me, when I want to.
First, try making a to-do list. This can be as organized as you want it to be. Include what you want to accomplish that day, when you have to have it accomplished by and begin working at it slowly.
Then begin with what you procrastinate the worst on. If you’re always putting off reading your Chemistry chapters, then start with that. Once you have it out of the way, the rest of the day will be a breeze.
If nothing else works, promise yourself you’ll work on something for at least five minutes. The time will pass quickly and you’ll see how much you can accomplish if you just sit down to do it.
Bobby Knight, head basketball coach of the Texas Tech Raiders and a man from my hometown in Ohio, once said, “Discipline – Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and do it that way every time.”
Just think, you might have enough motivation to start on something today—or maybe tomorrow.