How To Combat Procrastination


Savanah Nazario, Staff Writer

Let me offer a hypothetical: Say your thirteen-page essay, which was assigned a month ago, is due tomorrow. And on top of that, tomorrow you have a midterm which is worth 40% of your overall grade. So, what do you do? The answer is obvious. You let every other thing fall to the wayside and stay up until 5 AM to write your essay. Then, in the morning while on the car ride to school, you study for your upcoming test. But the real question is, what got you into this situation? And how can you stop this from happening again?

Procrastination is an ugly habit to form when you’re a student. All the various causes of this habit will lead to two very bad results: Stress and poor grades. People who procrastinate often find themselves in high-stress situations, and they are not very pleased with the results of their work when they finally do come around to doing it (speaking from experience). But there is a way that you can combat this habit and learn how to complete things on time and efficiently.

It is often said that procrastination stems from two things, anxiety surrounding the task at hand or plain old boredom. Depending on the type of person you are, the anxiety can stem from feeling overwhelmed or caring too much about the ending grade of your assignment. This feeling causes you freeze up and avoid doing it. Many people who struggle with perfectionism end up procrastinating this way. If you are this person, an easy way to combat this is breaking up the assignment into smaller, more manageable parts which are less overwhelming to tackle. This can help take away the anxiety of completing a large task because you can think about it as a much smaller task.

But this method won’t work if your procrastination stems from boredom. The mindset which often accompanies this problem is the assignment that has been given is simply not important enough to do. And what often happens is the assignment doesn’t become important until the night before, or even the class before it’s time to turn it in. There aren’t many ways of combatting this unless you want to change your mindset and your habits. An easy way to keep up with your work is by creating a firm schedule that designates a time to take care of each class’s work, so you do not get overwhelmed when the time comes or forget and fall behind in a class. This method works similarly to the one provided before, it just gives a more rigid time schedule to work by.

Teachers also notice when students procrastinate. Math teacher Lisa Sinatra has experience with this problem, and she knows how it impacts students.

“Students can be affected by procrastination grade-wise if teachers take late points. Their grades could drop even though the student knows the content and understands the concepts. The student should be an A student based on their knowledge, but because of their procrastination and waiting too long, they may turn in sloppy work which will hinder their grade.”

And even if the teacher does not take off late points, cramming for tests and rushing to study doesn’t allow a student to achieve the full mastery of the subject; therefore, earning them a lower grade than they could’ve had.

Freshman Kaliana Clarke says that when she procrastinates and rushes to get her notes done the night before the test, she doesn’t do as well as she does when she studies prior.

“I’m not really taking in the material, and that causes me to perform poorly on tests when I know I could’ve probably done better.”

Overall, procrastination has no upsides. It puts unnecessary stress on students, and with the right techniques, it can be easily combatted. With finals coming up, it is extremely important that students don’t rush to cram the night before their big exams. These test scores can affect their grades, their GPA, and even in some cases, whether or not they get into their desired college. So instead of sitting nervously on your phone all night, go tackle that disregarded assignment. It will save you a lot of time.