How to Deal with Procrastination in School
Regardless of gender or age, you probably do your fair share of procrastinating if you’re in school.
A new study out Tuesday from StudyMode, an international network that provides students with online learning tools, breaks down who procrastinates and why. The study gleaned its results by surveying more than 1,300 of the network’s student members in high school and college.
Approximately 87 percent of those polled said they procrastinate on school assignments.
Slightly more male and college students reported procrastinating on work, even though 45 percent of those surveyed said they know “procrastination negatively impacts their grades very often or fairly regularly,” according to the study.
Most students said they procrastinate either because they get distracted by other things, or because they get “overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.”
So here are a few tips we have listed to help you beat your procrastination blues
Tip # 1 Take your cue from the professor’s lesson plans
On the first day of school, professors customarily hand out lesson plans for the semester or the quarter, depending on what school system you’re in.
The lesson plans include the main textbooks to be used, supplementary reading material, project submission dates, and exam dates. Treat this lesson plan as your guide for avoiding procrastination. Academic procrastination can be disastrous if not reined in properly!
Tip # 2 Use the lesson plan to identify the short and long term assignments
Professors are efficient creatures. They schedule out assignments appropriately so they too are not overburdened with term papers and exam booklets. If they were overloaded, they’d have to procrastinate in tallying final grades, leaving that task at the last minute.
So professors mean business when they write “to be handed in by….” Use their lesson plans to arrange your own schedule. Take an hour or two and spend the time in the library reviewing all your lesson plans for the semester.
Map out dates with corresponding academic tasks, revising if necessary. If certain projects require extensive research, tackle those first. Last minute researching – procrastinating – in other words – may affect your chances of getting an “A.”
Tip # 3 School’s a fun place to hang out, but…
Teens are at that time of their lives where socializing is their # 1 priority. They prefer hanging out with their friends instead of with mom and dad; it’s only natural therefore that some teens consider school as the extended party place.
And spending time with their friends is an excellent excuse for postponing school work. When you’re spending too much time in the corridors, locker rooms or cafeteria discussing next Saturday’s disco dance, your academic work will lag behind.
To avoid the school principal calling your parents, be reasonable about academic work. Submit papers and assignments on time.
To illustrate: if you’ve got a paper due in two days where you need to research on the social instincts of Neanderthals and their need for company, tell your friends politely that no, you can’t join them at the mall after school.
Go seek refuge in the library instead, pick a quiet and inconspicuous corner where you can’t be interrupted. Pore over the Neanderthal books and write a smashing essay. Hanging out in the mall won’t tell you much about their social instincts!
Tip # 4 School counsellors are there to help…
Instead of agonising over an academic problem indefinitely, have you ever thought that your school counsellor could be a valuable support person? If you think you need a tutor for Physics or Chemistry because you’re having a whirl of a time understanding the equations, ask for help before it’s too late.
Faced with academic difficulties, students tend to procrastinate in asking for help because they’re either too shy or too lazy to ask for help. Take advantage of school resources like tutors and academic counselors before you get an “F” at the end of term.
Tip # 5 “My boyfriend’s in the same class and…”
If your boyfriend is in the same class, that’s fine, but don’t let that distract you so that the relationship encroaches on academic work.
Don’t let love make procrastinate in completing your assignments. But when you’re spending too much time in each other’s company and it’s beginning to make you procrastinate in doing what your teachers and team leaders expect of you, arrange dates with your boyfriend ahead of time wherein you absolutely CANNOT get together.
Strike a healthy balance. Succeeding in human relationships is just as hard as succeeding in school work. Besides, you don’t want to blame your sweetheart for your poor performance in Biology, do you?
Tip # 6 Fight your own battles first
Another manifestation of procrastination is when you let others monopolize your time so they can pour out their hearts to you. Being a willing listener is one thing, but when you do this too often, it will make you procrastinate.
Assess your motives. Do you listen to their problems so you can avoid school work or your own problems? Don’t use friendship or the Good Samaritan philosophy to procrastinate.
Tip # 7 An ideal student, but he’s doing way too much
The ideal student not only excels in academic work, but also in extra curricular activities.
He’s a member of the basketball team, the president of the science club, the chief debater on campus, the volunteer who offers his services twice a week to accompany seniors to their doctors’ appointments. He’s the all-around and wholesome American boy, the envy of all parents, the lad who makes the girls swoon all over.
Little do you know how much pressure he has fulfilling all these roles. It has everything to do with image. How does he keep a healthy balance? He can’t. That’s the straight and honest answer. It’s called STRETCHING YOURSELF TOO THIN. Often we forget that we’re in school primarily for intellectual pursuits.
Sports and humanitarian work come in second. But the admission that you can’t do it all is the first step in avoiding procrastination. Don’t fall behind your school work because you’re being pulled in all directions.
And don’t use your extra activities in school as the excuse for your procrastination. No one is going to earn your diploma for you.
Tip # 8 Many committees, many commitments
This is just an extension of tip 31 above. School officials who have programs or personal agendas will form committees and request student volunteers to steer these committees.
It’s a great way for them to let their students do the research work for their upcoming thesis, or get students to assist in that charity drive they do every year.
As a student, you have to decide which committee will serve your goals best. And if you must get involved, then choose one, or a maximum of two committees, provided that you have time left to tackle your school work.
Don’t let your committee commitments lead you to the path of procrastination. You’ll have plenty of time for committee work when you leave university.
Tip # 9 Break that huge term paper into small parts
Students dread term papers. They take forever to finish and you hate footnoting. You’re not alone. Term paper phobia is as common as a fear of heights.
If you tend to put doing term papers, one way of avoiding procrastination is to divide the project into small parts. When you’ve set up the outline, pick out the sections you think are the most difficult and begin your research. You can leave the easy parts for later.
Breaking a job into tinier segments is an effective way of taking immediate action instead of postponing it for later.
Tip # 10 Turn that cell phone off
Your parents bought you a cell phone so you can call if you find yourself in a bind or need a lift or simply need to let them know if you’ll be late for dinner.
It’s a good idea to keep the cell phone with you especially on those nights when you have to stay in the library till late at night. But don’t use it to keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do.
If you talk too much on your cellular, you’re not only using air time, you’re using it to procrastinate from attending to that pressing academic project. Allocate 30 minutes during the day to stay in touch with friends, but try not to go beyond that time.
Tip # 11 Don’t live in the gym
We agree, staying fit is important. You need muscles and brawn to keep you in tip top shape for jogging from one classroom to another.
Plus, the gym is a great way to unwind and…meet next Saturday night’s date. Nothing wrong with toning those muscles, but have you procrastinated enough doing something for your brain as well?
The brain also needs to be stretched and maximised to earn that ticket to an Ivy League university later. Go ahead and shape up, but don’t let your six pack abs get in the way of meaningful school work.
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