It’s probably the leading cause of bad grades in this country. The number one “F” causer in America. What is it? That’s right, procrastination. That little devil that pops into your head when you really, really need to get something done. It tears through your determination and goes straight for your homework. Look, we are evolutionarily designed to be lazy. I am not saying that means we should be, I am just saying don’t let anyone tell you that being lazy is a bad thing or that it is even you fault. Procrastination is natural, its good for you it gives you time to daydream, to spend time with friends, go outside, etc. If you really think procrastination is satan, than you need to seriously reconsider.
Having said that, stopping your procrastination is absolutely necessary and very difficult. Some people like to say “Due tomorrow, Do tomorrow.” If that’s you, it’s time to start working on your procrastinating. Here is how:
1. Realize the benefits of getting your work out of the way early.
I will give you an example. I have a 5 page paper due on friday. Today is Monday. I know that I want to be able to go to the gym at least 2 times before that paper is due. I also know that I like to get about 9 hours of sleep per night. Instead of playing NBA 2K12 with my buddies tonight, I am going to go start that paper. Not necessarily finish it, but If I know that it is started, I know that I can go to the gym later in the week and finish that paper up when I have time.
2. Understand the consequences of procrastinating until the last minute.
If I goof off all day instead of starting that paper, I am probably going to get a lot less sleep that night than I need. If I don’t get around 9 hours of sleep per night, I am usually in a really bad mood. That bad mood usually leads to me performing really poorly socially, athletically and even intellectually. Instead of goofing off, I must get the work done, unless I want to feel like crap the next day.
3. Don’t do anything until your work is done.
Sometime it’s just a quick T.V. show, or a quick game on the Xbox, it’s always quick this, quick that. You must realize that nothing is “quick” if you sit down to watch a T.V. show, chances are, once that show is over, you are just going to flip the channel and engage in a whole new show. Don’t fall into this loop.
4. Know when you are procrastinating.
Knowing when you are procrastinating is the first step in avoiding it. If you don’t know you are doing it, or are unconsciously procrastinating, then there is no way to stop it. If you are going to watch a T.V. show, play a video game, or fiddle around on Facebook, you must tell yourself that you are now procrastinating. Remember that this digital procrastination is not the same procrastination as the “experiential” procrastination where you are going outside, having deep conversations with friends, or playing.
Procrastination is a tough thing to avoid, and in some cases it is not something you want to avoid. Whatever your case is, chances are you are procrastinating a bit too much and could potentially increase your productivity. The question still remains, is procrastination a bad thing? I beleive that if you are doing the right type of procrastinating (playing, spending time with close ones, going outside, etc) it is a great thing. However, if you are spending your procrastination by watching T.V. and messing around online, it is a good idea to limit it.