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  • Dhanya S.

How to Stop Procrastinating

How To Stop Procrastinating

Have you submitted an assignment on the very day it was due? Especially when you had more than a week to work on it? Well, you were either lazy or procrastinating. Procrastination is when people put off tasks until the last minute and do other things during the time meant for the task. This is known to be a common problem, especially for high schoolers, but there is a way to solve it. To avoid procrastination, one must turn off all distractions, break apart their tasks, and tackle them at their peak times and environment.



Before you start doing your task, make sure any distractions like social media and video games are away from you. Removing any possible distractions allows

you to think clearly and focus on the assignment at

hand without having your mind wander. An article posted on ‘The Huntington News’ states that “51 percent of students admit to losing at least an hour of productivity a day to social media and internet distraction.” This piece of data shows us that by keeping distractions close to you, you are most likely to lose an hour of possible productiveness. Moreover, even if you have the self-control to not get distracted, the mere presence of a distraction will cause your mind to wander. It will be tempting to check your recent texts. You might even feel uncomfortable without having your phone in your line of sight. But that is exactly why potential distractions like those need to be away when you are working. They interfere with your thought process and end up invading your mind.




Sometimes, a task will take hours and hours to complete, so try breaking it up into smaller chunks. Breaking it apart allows you to split the work and find a starting point in your lengthy task. According to UGA Today, “By setting priorities and breaking the bigger project into smaller tasks, the work is more manageable and less intimidating.” The quote lets us know that splitting your work is also better for your mental health since it puts less stress on your present and future self. Especially since it makes the task seem less daunting. For example, writing an entire essay at once can be draining. But doing it in chunks over a few days allows you to take your time and put equal effort into each part. It will be hard at first, spreading the tasks onto different days. But if you try getting rid of your distractions as stated previously, it will get easier.



Try tackling your tasks at your peak times and the environment that you are most productive in. This one is not said often enough. You cannot just decide to be your hard-working self instantly. Like everybody has their personalities, everybody has their own peak performance times. This can vary from person to person. The exact definition when looking at brainforestcenters.com is, “Peak Performance is a state in which the person performs to the maximum of their ability.” This is extremely important to identify when looking at how to prevent procrastination. Let us try finding yours now. Are you a morning bird or a night owl? You can figure this out by thinking of when you have tended to get the most work done. Look at some times when you are the most productive. What do they have in common? In my case, I work best in the early morning in the dark with music playing in the background. Now, using your peak performance information, try to recreate the environment you are most productive in. And make sure to try doing any of your hardest or lengthiest tasks during your peak performance time.


In conclusion, procrastination can be prevented by keeping away from your distractions, splitting your work into chunks, and finding your peak performance times. So do make sure to try and submit your next assignments on time, or even better, early!


Written by Dhanya S.

Resources:

“What is Peak Performance and How Do I Reach It? Brain Forest Centers.

“Break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces” UGA Today, March 24, 2014. https://news.uga.edu/break-large-tasks-down-into-smaller-more-manageable-pieces/

Rachel Mordford, “Social media cited as largest source of procrastination” The Huntington News, December 4, 2014.

“What is Procrastination” Procrastination.com. https://procrastination.com/what-is-procrastination

“How to Stop Procrastinating” Minds Tools. . https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm

Sophie Scott, “How focusing on the important and ignoring distraction can help you reach your goals” ABC News, November 7, 2016.


Images:

Amie Spencer & Maggie Seaver, “Want to Train Your Brain to Stop Procrastinating? Read These Tips From a Neuroscientist” Real Simple, August 27, 2019.

Sam Kemmis, “Procrastination Isn't a Time Management Problem, It's an Emotional Problem” Zapier, May 6, 2019.

June Silny, “What Stops Me From Starting?” Attitude, June 3, 2021.



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