Ahhhh, Summer; the time in which we drop our 9-month-old bad habits like a hot tamale and start living our best lives. When we set goals and actually follow through and definitely complete that bucket list of ours. This is when we finally do all the things we’ve just been procrastinating on doing the rest of the year.
Um, is it just me, or are you not buying that either? Summer seems like the perfect time to start using all the time we are given to do something worthwhile, but if you’re a procrastinator(like me, welcome to the fam.) it tends to give you more time to put stuff off until OH HEY, it’s August and all I’ve done is sit on the couch watching Friends reruns.
So how are we possibly supposed to actually do stuff, other than trying to find out how to cook mac & cheese on Youtube, and end up watching conspiracy theories on why pencils don’t actually exist. How does this happen, and how can we stop it? Well, I’m not the life coach you need, but I am a professional procrastinator, so I know a thing or two.
- Make sure you keep track of your assignments whether that means writing it down on sticky notes, a planner, calendar, or, my personal favorite…your hand! That’s obviously where the phrase, “I know it like the back of my hand,” came from. If you write down what you have to do, you are 42% more likely to actually do it.
- GET RID OF YOUR PHONE!!! I mean it! Put it in a different room, have your siblings hide it somewhere, chuck it out a window if you have to; just get rid of it. Get rid of distractions whatever that means to you, but you want to create an environment that keeps you most focused so you can work productively.
- Cut tasks into smaller chunks and set time limits for each of the tasks. For example, “I’m going to finish this section of the math homework in 20 minutes.”
- When you complete tasks, treat yo self. Studies show that one of the main reasons you procrastinate is that we, as humans, like to enjoy life. Because of this, when given the option to do something enjoyable vs. doing something less desirable, we like to choose what we enjoy doing. That is why it can be so difficult to start new habits and break old ones.
- Make time for the tasks you need to complete. So if you have a project, work on it for 30 minutes a day until it is due so that you can give it your best effort and not end up drowning in last minute work the night before it is due.
- Prioritize what needs to be done first over that paper that’s due in a month or two.
- Also, remember 5:00 am and 12:30 am are not your most productive hours of the day.
- DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT leave it all until the last second. You do not want to have to start and finish your cultural encounter before school at 5:00 in the morning. Trust me, we’ve all been there, and I don’t know about you, but it STINKS.
- You’re not allowed to have “Senioritis” yet, unless you are, in fact, a senior. (But you may be seeing some of the warning signs.) Even still, for you seniors out there, THIS YEAR STILL COUNTS, finish strong!
You guys, this is a clean slate for us all to stop procrastinating so much. I’m going to try not to be such a hypocrite, and I’ll try and listen to my own advice. (Even though my mom typed up some of this for me because…it’s late, and I’m a slow typer.) I challenge you to do the same!
For those of you who are still confused about why most of us procrastinate feel free to procrastinate and get into the mind of a procrastinator with this TED Talk on procrastination below.