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How to Push Through Procrastination — March 7, 2017

How to Push Through Procrastination

Before you roll your eyes at this title and go back to creating a to-do list of all things that you hope to accomplish in the next fifty years, take a moment to read through this article. Then… maybe roll your eyes.

It is that time of year again, when students are stuck between the hype of the beginning of the first semester of school, and the promise of another great summer break. Students lack the motivation they did at the beginning of the year to complete school assignments on time, and to the best of their abilities. School takes the backseat, as social life, and activities that are enjoyed partaking in seem much more relevant. (Where am I going to need quadratics in real life anyways? You only live once, so why waste time doing something so irrelevant like homework?) At this time, you are one of three people: the procrastinator, the non-procrastinator, or the undecided. If you fall into any of the first two categories, you have come to the right place. If you are in the third category, choose one of the first two. In this article, I will educate you on the issue of procrastination, how this habit impacts our lives, as well as measures you can take to becoming as close to a master non-procrastinator as possible.

What is procrastination? Procrastination is the action of putting off tasks, or delaying accomplishing them. For now, you may be able to get away with this “due tomorrow, do tomorrow” mentality, and if so, congratulations. As a master procrastinator, you are like approximately 26% of the population. In fact, according to studies, nearly 95% of college students attest to being procrastinators. One day, the clock’s going to run out of time, and if you’ve been the dedicated Netflix-lete that you know you have, then your assignment just won’t make the hand-in bin on time. If this habit escalates, the next thing you know, you’ve put off writing college admissions, or paying taxes, or rent. Hey, but don’t worry. An estimated 40% of the population have experienced financial loss due to procrastination. Doesn’t that make you feel special?

P brain

We’ve established that procrastination is an international issue that is only going to keep escalating as the years go on, and it becomes increasingly easier for people to disconnect, and not have to take responsibility for their actions.

What if we didn’t have the ability, or rather, the legroom to procrastinate? Would we be able to complete tasks punctually? Would our minds be physically capable of such a transition? Probably not. If not, then what will we do the day we must not procrastinate? What about the day that someone’s life depends on us?

Just like the overuse of smartphones mummifies our brains in alive corpses, and just like constantly validating yourself through social media creates low self-esteem and social interaction issues, procrastination gradually turns into a destructive habit that is hard to recover from.

Procrastination is a current, first-world issue.

While this all sounds very drastic, and dramatic, it doesn’t have to sentence human existence into this set-in-stone definition. There are fortunately ways to overcome procrastination, so that this rising issue can be curbed before it engulfs our race. From my research, I have narrowed many solutions into three key points:

  1. Create detailed, and specific task lists instead of general to-do lists. Prioritize the tasks based on factors such as time constraints, difficulty level, and importance to you.
  2. Each time you think you shouldn’t do a task based on the available time, remember this: 2 minutes wasted each day amounts to an hour wasted each month, and half a day wasted in an entire year. Do it now, it’s ok if you can’t finish it. After all, igniting the fire is the hardest part.
  3. Don’t forget to celebrate! Treat yourself on a job well done, but don’t overdo it. (Who am I kidding, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate ;p)

In conclusion, procrastination is a rapidly escalating issue that must be immediately addressed, and let the change begin with you by, well, getting started! (No. Don’t say “I’ll do it later” because you know you won’t.)

As much as I hope I have inspired you to become an Olympic-level anti-procrastinator, there are many more qualified experts who have put their efforts into creating amazing resources, and great content. Be sure to check out the following links:

TED Talk by Tim Urban: https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator
How to Stop Procrastinating by watchwellcast: https://youtu.be/Qvcx7Y4caQE