Working with Procrastination


As a college student, the postponement of school work is pretty much second nature. Procrastination is the friend that doesn’t know when to leave, and it’s so comforting and fun that we have a hard time saying, “It’s time to go.” This is why it ultimately becomes our downfall. It’s extremely tempting to put work off until later, especially with Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and other constant sources of entertainment making it so easy to pass time. It’s not always a bad thing to relax and enjoy an episode or two of Friends after a hard day’s work, it just becomes far too easy to let one episode play after the other. Eventually, there comes a day when we realize that we should have spent more time on a subject. When we look back on what we could have done differently, we usually end up wishing things hadn’t been put off so late. But how do we break ourselves out of the magical trance of procrastination?

 

Self-Control

Getting things done starts and ends with self-discipline and self-control. Anyone can sit around and relax or have fun all day, but having the ability to do what you need to do, especially when it’s not enjoyable, takes some work. Usually those who have control over their emotions have an easier time managing their schedule and getting things done. However, these people weren’t born with this great sense of discipline. They most likely either learned these good habits by example or by trial and error. Both of these sources of knowledge though come from their active self-control, which tells them what they need to focus on or learn in order to achieve their goals. If they were to give into everything they wanted to do, they would end up wasting their time away, disregarding any responsibilities or duties that needed to be taken care of. But we can’t live like this, especially as university students. There’s almost always some type of work to be done, so having the ability to get yourself invested in doing it is half the battle.

 

Incentives

The good news is, there are ways to make it easier to get those tasks completed, however they require a little more self-control and discipline to work. This is because sometimes, you can almost bribe yourself into getting work done through things that you love. For example, let’s say you love oranges, but have to read a nice chunk of your dry textbook for lecture the next day. What you could do is buy a few spheres of that orange fruit and eat a slice for every page or two. Not only is this better for your health than eating Oreos every few pages, but it can keep you focused, full, and functional. If you cave on your self-control however, and shove the oranges down your throat before you even read a word, you’ll probably have less motivation to read the text, along with a slight stomach ache.

 

Experiment

There are many other techniques for dealing with delaying work, and each method works more or less successfully depending on the person. Part of having self-discipline includes making the time to find what works best for you. You might find that certain places, times, or people help you to be more or less productive in ways that weren’t noticeable before. The question is: will you be responsible enough to make good use of this information? Or will you allow your friend Procrastination to stay a little while longer?

– written by Eric Smith

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