Procrastination

184; Stress level: Midnight

  
Endlessly searching for delicious sweets in your kitchen, having energetic dance sessions in your room, playing dress-up with all the skirts, shirts and shoes you own—whatever task you may  choose, succeeding in avoiding the inevitable is always a result! Although procrastination— the loveable frenemy we’ve all grown extremely close with— serves as a creative outlet for unique and fabulous ideas, it doesn’t benefit our attempts to successfully complete tasks at all. With these tips, you will learn how to buckle down and study for that important Biology test without any distractions.

1. Make a to-do list and stick to it!

Fill your to-do list with everything you must complete for that specific day. Don’t include too much though. Feeling overwhelmed will actually make your procrastination more of a dynamic act in your life! Crossing off finished tasks from your pretty stationery proves to be more effective than crossing off completed tasks from your mental to-do list. Literally seeing all of the progress you’ve made so far will give you more of an incentive to continue on with your goal!

 

2. Fight anxiety!
Do you feel anxious by the thought of working on a particular task? Don’t fear, girl! Nancy Schimelpfening, a writer for About.com, offers her own effective anxiety busters:
Deeply inhale while counting five heartbeats (check this by feeling your pulse). Exhale as you count five heartbeats. Feel those anxious thoughts that have haunted you, exit your mind. Your heart rate will slow down and you will feel less tense after these breathing exercises, preparing you to take on any challenge! For more of an in-depth breathing exercise, check out this helpful video!

3. Break it up!
If your huge English project seems too difficult and too intimidating to tackle, break it up into smaller and more realistic mini-goals! How about researching and thoroughly outlining one day, and printing images for your poster board the next day? You would need a lengthier time range, but taking your time and perfecting your super important project totally beats staying up all night and rushing through it. How about writing one page of your Shakespeare essay every night before its due date, rather than stressfully writing the five page paper the night before? Select the scenario you find less stressful.

4. Reward yourself!
Reward yourself if you complete every task in the allotted amount of time you have provided for yourself! Watch a cute YouTube video, a music video, or even half an episode of Glee! Wanting to know what happens to Rachel and Finn in the duration of the first half of the episode will force you to finish your next task in order to win the remaining half of your prize.
**Helpful hint: Don’t allow yourself to cheat. Keep an eye on the time, or have a friend call you to let you know when 30 minutes have passed so you know that it’s time to hit the books again!

5. Just do it!
Think Nike, and just do it! Complete the work you’ve been avoiding, sit at your desk, and do it! You will be so proud of yourself, girl. The feelings of accomplishment, relief, and happiness will be so worth it when you finish!  

Follow these tips, and complete that project you’ve been avoiding for days! Then, finally reward yourself by devouring that cupcake in your kitchen, happily rock out to T-Swift’s music in your room and play dress-up until your closet is empty!

 

—Grace Gavilanes

Photo by Sara. Nel

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