How to Aim for Success in Semester 2

Laila Rahbari


Manya Garg, Reporter

Have you ever found yourself working on a project just a day before the deadline? Procrastination is defined as the action of delaying or postponing something. It is usually present in a situation where one has anxiety or self-doubt on an assignment. The decision tends to be very easy to make but challenging to overcome. We all procrastinate a bit, but it becomes a problem if it forms part of a chronic pattern of choosing to delay tasks despite the consequences if you miss those deadlines. Chronic procrastination can even be bad for your health, putting you under long-term stress, encouraging you to put off exercising or eating more healthily, or then even delaying visiting the doctor when you have symptoms.  To start, here are six ways to prevent procrastination from taking control.

1. Become Organized

It is impossible to finish assignments if you’re not too sure of what your assignments are. Become more organized by investing in a planner or calendar to keep track of upcoming due dates that are important. By having this, you can manage your time better and prioritize your assignments.

2. Set a Few Goals

Part of the reason we procrastinate is that the task at hand seems too daunting. It’s a lot easier to get started on a project when you establish simple, reachable goals rather than a big, vague plan. You can always start small and gradually add more goals you want to accomplish. For example, you may say “I want to study for the history test tonight” however, you could set a more reachable goal such as, “I want to study chapter 3”. 

3. Getting rid of Distractions

It’s important to rid yourself of all potential disruptions before you begin working so you don’t get needlessly sidetracked halfway through your task. Distractions differ from each person but common distractions could be social media platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram. Electronics in general like television, computers, and cellphones can also be huge distractions. Putting your cell phone away, along with other distractions, could help focus your attention on the assignment rather than becoming sidetracked. 

4. Having a “Power Hour”

A Power Hour consists of putting away all distractions and working in concentrated chunks of time. Space out each break and time them to be about 15-20 minutes each.

5. Grab a Friend

Once you settle on a few deadlines to organize your tasks, a good idea would be to have a partner be there to help you be accountable. It’s easier to impose structure on yourself and therefore manage your procrastination if you have someone to help keep you accountable.  A friend or partner may be able to help keep you up to date with upcoming projects and assignments. It could also assist in some possible motivation to at least get you started.

6. Reward Yourself

Be sure to reward yourself each time an item on the list is completed. An adequate pat-on-the-back or the pleasure of crossing an item off your list. This will inspire you to keep up the good work, and hopefully, it will help things get done. Another thing to note is that it may be hard to initially move on from a bad habit. Try and make your rewards healthy, like some relaxation time, or treating yourself to a workout class, etc. so you’re not replacing one bad habit with a different bad habit.

The tips listed above are just a few easy suggestions on how you should overcome procrastination. Procrastination is not a fun game to play, so it’s important to try to prevent it as much as possible. If you see an individual struggling with procrastination, lend a hand, and offer advice.