Don’t procrastinate, instead prioritize

By Jenine Ikeler
May 3, 2001

by Jenine J. Ikeler
assistant photography editor

With the amazing, unseasonably warm weather, it is extremely hard to write a paper or even try to concentrate for finals. However, with the semester coming to an end, it is time to get it together and stop procrasting.

We have all been plagued by procrastination at one point or another. For me, it is a chronic problem. Procrastination usually leads to wasted time, poor performance, and increased stress. Procrastination is letting low priority tasks take precedence over high priority tasks. We all do it. We watch TV or go to the gym instead of completing that 10-page paper that is due tomorrow for our 9:35 a.m. class.

” I will wait until I’m in the mood,” junior Maureen Kelly said.

When we make excuses like that, we end up never being in the mood. Come on, who is ever in the mood to do a paper on Gilgamesh? Procrastination is a bad habit. Procrastion can be blamed on crooked thinking. When we use crooked thinking we employ to justify our behavior. Crooked thinking reveals three major issues in delaying tactics: perfectionism, indecency and discomfort. Perfectionism comes in to play for those students who believe they must turn in an amazing paper. They endlessly rewrite draft after draft. Feelings of inadequacy can cause delays. Students believe that they will automatically receive a bad grade and will avoid doing a paper. This way, they do not have to put their skills to the test. The fear of discomfort is another way of putting off what needs to be done. When it comes to our behavioral patterns getting started on an unpleasant difficult task may seem impossible.

Here is a list of some things to do in order to break the habit

Use rational self-talks. Excuse: ” I’m not in the mood right now.” Realistic thought: “Mood doesn’t do my work, action does. If I wait for the right mood, I will never get it done.”

Engage in Positive self-statements. “The sooner I get done, the sooner I can play.”

Don’t put yourself down. Jumping to the conclusion that you will fail or that you are not good at something will only create a wall of fear that will stop you cold.

Design clear goals. Think about what you want and what needs to be done.

Set priorities. Write down all the things that need to be done in order of their importance.

Partialize the tasks. Big projects feel overwhelming? Break them down into the smallest most manageable sub-parts.

Get organized. Have all of your materials ready before you begin your task.

Take a stand. Commit yourself to doing the task.

Use prompts. Write reminders to yourself starting what you need to accomplish and put them all over the room.

Reward yourself. Do not minimize your accomplishments.

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Jenine Ikeler

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