Your teachers do it, your friends do it, I do it, and chances are, you do it too! We have all procrastinated before at one point or another. Even when we know a task is important, we may choose instead to spend time on the internet, social media and chatting to friends. Next thing you know, all of a sudden it's 12:30 a.m and we have left it too late to start it, and we get annoyed at ourselves for not doing something about it sooner!
Not only does procrastination stop us from achieving our potential, it also makes us stress more than we need to. Time management is especially important in the senior years of high school when the workload picks up and grades become increasingly important. Having gone through it myself, I can definitively say it is not a pleasant experience or a good idea to start revision at 11 p.m the night before an exam.
So what can you do to combat this? Instead of me just rambling on, here's a few quotes which might get you motivated and stop procrastination from holding you back.
"It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end."
- Leonardo da Vinci (famous painter/inventor/conspiracy generator)
Just start it, whatever it is you need or want to do. As humans, we are far more likely to complete tasks that we have already started. We all have complained about not knowing where to start, but as long as you get something down on paper and make a small start, you are much more likely to complete it compared to if you just kept sitting there thinking about whether to start it.
"You don't have to' feel like' doing something in order to do it."
- Oliver Burkeman (famous author)
Stop making excuses. There are things none of us like to do (like studying), but it's important for us to do them. You won't feel like' studying even if it's the night before the exam, but you do it because of all the panic and stress caused by your procrastination. Why not save yourself from the hassle and just do it now?!
"Consider using offline tools. A whiteboard, a large notepad, or a sheet of printer paper."
- Alicia Johnston (famous lifestyle blogger)
Even an online blogger knows that sometimes getting offline can get you more things done. Studying on a computer using the internet with a tab for Facebook, another on YouTube, and then finally one on Google researching your project will most likely not be the most productive session. Sometimes, it is just better to go and sit in another room without distractions, and place your phone somewhere else where you won't be able to hear it when you get a notification. If you need to be online to do work, keep disciplined and avoid opening unnecessary distractions.
"Boil down your to-do list to two or three items."
- Demian Farnworth (famous Chief Copywriter at Copyblogger)
Don't overwhelm yourself. I still remember the time when I made holiday timetables that dictated that I was going to study from 9 a.m to 9 p.m, with only 15 minute breaks between each task and doing 3 past exam papers everyday. In the end, I basically got nothing done.
Being ambitious is not a bad thing, but it's also important to be realistic. If you set yourself with too many to-do's, your brain might just give up or you end up losing focus. If you just stick with listing a few important tasks, you'll feel like you achieved a lot when you complete them, instead of feeling like there's an endless list of things to do and feeling disappointed when you haven't met your goals. Don't set yourself up for disappoint with unrealistic expectations, set a few goals (even small ones), and just do them!
Have a think about these tips and jot down anything that could be helpful for you; it could make the difference between acing an exam or crumbling under the pressure and succumbing to procrastination. I end with a famous quote from Nike "Just do it!"
Jack Zheng | N° 2