Why you should stop procrastinating
We’ve all been told that procrastinating only hurts us in the long run, that you shouldn’t do it, that you should be on top of things and to always do an assignment the night it gets assigned. But let’s be real here, no one does assignments the night they are assigned and we all wait until the night before to study for a test that we’ve known about for months.
We’ve all heard it over and over again that we shouldn’t wait until the last minute, or that we wont be able to write that 10 page term paper the night before, and it almost becomes a sort of game. You test your abilities under pressure and try to mathematically figure out when you should start based on the due date, how much work it is, and whether or not you’ve even selected a topic. So it becomes a game, you and your assignments versus the professor and the clock. T-minus 4 hours until my paper is due, I’ve still got time…
Now I know that everything I am about to say are things you’ve probably heard before, but I hope that it coming from a college student who decided to double major and take 18 hours every semester has more merit than a 70-year-old professor who took classes before they even had the idea to put a man on the moon. (Times were simpler, and there wasn’t as much information to learn and be taught; it’s just true). Learning not to procrastinate was one of the best things I ever did for myself. The stress of school, a job and making sure that everything on your resume lines up and makes you look like the star you are, can be overwhelming. I made the decision a year ago to budget my time better and not wait until the last minute to study, or to write that story. I’ve realized more and more that the harder your classes and the heavier course work, the need to be better about time management increases significantly.
So here is why I think you should stop procrastinating, from one stressed out, overwhelmed college student to another. I have seen a huge difference in my abilities when I manage my time better and my grades have gone up. It reduces stress; when you start assignments early it gives you the chance to take your time, be more thorough, and you don’t have the stress of having to write a five page paper in one night while worrying about the test and three quizzes you have tomorrow.
Besides, who doesn’t want to be able to watch Netflix without feeling guilty?
Here are some tips:
Look over the assignment the day it is assigned: You don’t have to start it, just look over it. Analyze what is going to be asked of you, and logically think about how long it is going to take.
Make a plan: figure out how many hours you think the assignment will require, then budget your time. For example, If it’s going to take seven hours, and you have a whole week to do it, budget one hour a night. Another advantage to this is if you give yourself a week, and there’s one night that you have a ton of other stuff to do, you can skip that hour and work on other stuff without feeling overwhelmed or guilty. Also, if for some reason you didn’t realize how much work this assignment would be, you have the ability to go that extra mile, interview that extra person, or create that extra graph that might change your B to an A
Go over it: Sloppy last minute mistakes are going to happen if you try to make a whole idea board or write a whole paper in one night. Stupid mistakes caused by fatigue and rushing can be avoided if you budget an extra 30 minutes review you work.
And lastly, the one we’ve all been waiting for, Relaxation: I can’t tell you how many times I have laid in bed at night watching Scandal on Netflix while the weight of all of my assignments threatened to smother and swallow me whole. Who doesn’t want to be able to watch TV, read a book that hasn’t been assigned to you, go to a movie, have dinner with your friends, or go to a meeting for your favorite organization? Being able to do these things without having your conscience pick at your mind is a wonderful way to reduce stress, an idea that most college students can only dream about. Reduce stress? HA.
But in all seriousness, learning to do my assignments early, and not wait until the Sunday before I have four papers due, two tests, and three quizzes (that is quite literally what is on my plate for this next week) has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned in college.
Take the first step by just looking over your assignment the day it is assigned. You’d be amazed at how just getting the wheels in your head turning can make a huge impact in the process of actually doing the assignment, even if it is the night before it’s due.