How to Stop Procrastinating
by: Ali Youel
Procrastinating. You know what I’m talking about. I know the word all too well. Putting off all things you need to do for no particular reason other than not wanting to do them. We all do it, even for just small, simple, mundane things. We often justify this act by saying “Oh, I can do it later.” I’m sure you, and everyone around you, is all-too-familiar with this process. But why do we do it? How can we break this habit?
Procrastinating can be like a defense mechanism in a way. We are scared to try new things because of our fear of being rejected, or our fear of failure. Forbes’s Margie Warrell wrote, “Those fears can drive us to cling on to the hope that if we procrastinate long enough, our situation will improve, or our misgivings will magically evaporate and be replaced with newfound clarity and courage.” Procrastination isn’t a solution, but it gives us a little relief when we are in the middle of it. It is vital that we keep going and pushing, even if all we want to do is binge watch The Office or stalk people via Instagram.
Here some some helpful ways to break the bad habit that every high-schooler (and everyone in general) faces.
- Make a List. I know it sounds generic and pointless, but organizing oneself can be a great motivator and tool to stop procrastinating. Grab a whiteboard, a post-it, or a simple piece of paper and write down what you have to do. You can break down the tasks into time, allot breaks for yourself, and set healthy goals to get your stuff done.
- Create a Goal for Yourself. Creating reasonable goals is a good motivator, and can boost your self-confidence. By setting a REASONABLE goal, you can get your stuff done, and feel as though you accomplished more than just your math homework. However, be cautious about setting your goal. Setting an extreme and impossible goal will only hurt. If you are unable to reach that goal because you set the bar to high, you will most likely feel upset and discouraged from working hard. Remind yourself that it is okay for your goal to be different from other; it is your goal, not your friend’s.
- Reward Yourself. It is okay to take breaks. Take a deep breath. Did you finally finish that boring chapter of your AP Lang book? Go eat a cookie, have a mini dance party, do whatever for a little. It is important to reward yourself, even for small victories. Remember, you are doing great, and keep on putting your best foot forward.