“Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will–tomorrow”
― Gloria Pitzer
The bags under my eyes don’t bother me, nor do the coffee stains on my shirt, they show the fatigue of the avoidable all-nighter needed to meet the deadline for yet another assignment that crept up on me. I discovered in middle school that my best work is done under pressure. No strain, no gain is how I see it. But the challenging assignments of upper-level undergraduate classes are changing the way I am used to getting things done. Delaying tasks to the point I like to call the “danger zone,” where any more procrastination makes it impossible to finish in time, always creates unnecessary distress and unhappiness in my life. In addition to stress and guilt that accompanies procrastination I see myself gaining a bad reputation with school project partners, friends, family and administrators on campus. Faced with the threat of losing my ambition to succeed and tarnishing my academic record I want to share with you some tips to stop procrastinating TODAY:
- Bribe yourself to take action. For me this works wonders, I usually buy my favorite bottle of wine and set it on the table and just let it taunt me to finish my paper. A reward for performance is a powerful motivator, every person’s tastes are different so select a reward that you really crave. I have gotten similar results with chipotle burritos, too.
- Different environments can have different impacts on your productivity. My work desk in my room is only a couple feet from my bed, after typing my cover page suddenly I’m three episodes deep into the new season of Walking Dead. Avoid comfort and distractions, find a quiet place with a hard chair and a view of the perfectly sunny day your missing out on and you’ll be surprised how time efficient you can be.
- Get the worst out of the way first. I’ve learned from my running hobby that it is much easier to climb the mountain first then coast your way down at the end. Same applies to the worst things on your to-do-list, get the ‘have to’ jobs out of the way before you tackle those want to’s and should be’s.
- When all else fails, I seek the motivational words of Shia LaBeouf. Something about him screaming, “Just DO IT!” furiously at a camera for two minutes while flexing and gesturing bizarrely puts me back on task (and off the internet).
Avoiding procrastination ultimately is all about setting personal goals for yourself and sticking with them. Being disciplined with your time and breaking the bad habits that prevent you from achieving greater results in life takes dedication all day, every day. I am ready to change, are you?