By Jill Odom
Procrastination, we all do it, but whether we recognize we are doing it is another question. The key to stopping your stalling is to acknowledge that you are doing it. Once you admit that you are putting things off you can focus on getting something accomplished.
5. The “Just One More” Effect
This can vary from when you are watching YouTube videos and keep clicking on the next clip to watching another episode of the latest addictive TV series on Netflix. You decide that after this episode or video you will start your homework, but, as the show ends, you find your hand drifting to click the next button and tell yourself after this one you’ll really go start your homework.
Don’t kid yourself. If you find yourself in this situation there are several options. One is to have a friend hold you accountable. Tell them that after you finish that specific episode you will begin your homework and give them the right to forcibly strip you of your laptop or TV remote.
Another tip is to disconnect from your Internet until you have finished your work. Once you have finished you may reward yourself with an episode or two but not the whole season!
4. Scrolling for updates
When it is late at night and you know no one else is awake except the poor souls who are also up supposedly doing their homework, you will decide to scroll up and down Facebook hoping for any form of a post or update.
As you nod your head and smile sheepishly while reading this, come to terms with the fact that no one is going to post a ground-breaking status that you cannot bear to miss until you have finished your assignment.
Put your phone away or better yet turn it off. If you have to be on your laptop for the homework, pull up the pages you need for the assignment and then disconnect from the Internet. The pages will stay up as long as you don’t close out of the browser.
As you sit down to actually get your work done you realize how messy your desk looks and have a sudden urge to organize everything. Once your desk looks neat and orderly you decide that your closet really should be color-coded, and then you decide that, while you’re at it, you will disinfect the entire room since flu season is coming up.
What you are doing is rearranging your priorities so that the task that actually should get done is usually the last thing on your list. Yes, having a clean and tidy room is a nice thing, but you aren’t getting a grade on it. If you are honest with yourself, you know that you have time to do those things when there isn’t a pressing assignment due.
2. Random impulses
This is when suddenly every craving and urge must be satisfied instantaneously. Say you want a milkshake. Instead of being rational about it and deciding to get one next time you go out, you gather as many other friends as possible and load up in the car to hit up a fast food place. Then, rather than simply taking the drink back to the dorm to finish your work; you stay at the restaurant chatting it up with your friends for hours.
These impulses will lead you down the road of obesity (because honestly how many times do you crave something healthy?), and you tend to drag your friends into these as well. If you have the sudden urge to go see a new movie, with a paper due that night, you are going to make sure you have someone with you so you don’t feel as guilty.
There isn’t much help for this one other than to resist. Show some self-control and use the item you crave so much as your reward after you finish instead. You will feel much better about yourself.
1. Shooting the breeze
You know you are avoiding doing work when you start doing this. Your roommate that you barely speak to comes in the room, and you suddenly are desperately interested in the intimate details of his or her day. This isn’t to say that talking with people you do care about doesn’t count as procrastinating.
When you have sat with a friend talking for three hours straight about why each person in your life is like a character on “Friends” you know it’s time to shut up and work. It is great to have pals that you can talk to about anything with, but sometimes the trivial things have to be put on hold.
Remember you are in college for a reason. The teacher gave you that assignment for a reason. Take your work as seriously as you would at your real world job because that is what college is preparing you for.