The Discoverer

How to Procrastinate Less and Manage Your Time

Managing your time can often be difficult and people tend to lose track of time spent on secondary activities.

Managing your time can often be difficult and people tend to lose track of time spent on secondary activities.

Alejandro Espinosa, The Discoverer Staff Writer

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Let’s face it, we’ve all been in that stressful but weirdly pleasurable position before. It’s the last day to turn in your work and you find yourself watching a video about a bat eating a banana just hours or even minutes before the deadline for that important article, presentation or even project is due. Ok, maybe not exactly in this situation, but you get the gist of it; it all comes down to that one word: procrastination. Yeah, we’ve all been guilty of procrastinating at least a couple of times in our lives, however, some of us are more victims of this than others.

As weirdly fun it may be to procrastinate, it can result as a big inconvenience in many different times in our lives, especially in moments where we want to start something but don’t have a real deadline, such as starting a business. This is why, this is a habit that you might want to control more often than not.

What exactly is it?

At a first glance, we can consider procrastination as a fairly basic concept, ironically sort of relating to the phrase “don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today” but rather the other way around. Procrastination is basically the concept of leaving something for the last minute knowing clearly that you could’ve done it before. More often than not, we start making up excuses for doing the real work and experiencing the discomfort that takes doing your work and making meaningful changes in our work and lives. Here is where the problem comes in for a lot of people. It is totally fine to procrastinate every once in a while, but in many cases, people do it constantly, and not just even for tasks in your school or work, but for your goals in general. There is a theory that everyone without an exception procrastinates, and if not in the sense of turning in work, then in the sense of doing the things you want to do.

“We leave almost everything that matters to us for the end, we start them off when everything is accumulated, and lots of times, we don’t even start to do the stuff that we like,” Mauricio Sepulveda, 11th grade teacher at TCS, said.

How to be more effective in regulating procrastination?

To at least an extent, everybody is a procrastinator, it’s just that some people fall higher in this scale than others. It is inevitable to have our occasional slip ups because our brains just work that way. Maybe it is because you are having a bad day, or maybe because you are having a lazy day but inevitably, procrastination will hit you.

“I think it is more common for students to procrastinate because it’s easier to just leave everything for the last moment,” TCS student Benjamin Vergnaud said.

However, it is true that there is a way to at least lower yourself in this scale and it all comes down to only one requirement: discipline. Now, acquiring discipline to do things can be hard, but acquiring a habit of doing stuff constantly always makes it a little bit easier every day.  There are some strategies that help you become less of a procrastinator but the truth is that all of these strategies require discipline.

What are some of these strategies?

If you consider yourself as a procrastinator, you must believe that you can improve on this habit in a positive sense because the reality is that you can.

“I think that I procrastinate a lot  but it depends a lot on what we are talking about and I think that these types of things can be improved upon in the future,” Pablo Lopez Angel, 11th grader of the Medellín Montessori school said.

In this sense, Lopez is right, and the truth is that there is no right or wrong way of doing this, however, here are some strategies that might help you improve upon this topic:

  • Writing down your goal and giving yourself a deadline: This is only helpful if you believe in yourself. A lot of the times that we set ourselves a goal we don’t accomplish it for that exact reason.
  • Breaking the goal into small pieces and doing it slowly, this way, the goal seems less tedious and more achievable: Now, this is definitely a very important part of the process, we usually procrastinate because we see the amount of workload and just don’t feel like doing it at the moment, but if the brain is tricked into thinking the workload is smaller that it actually is, it helps us do things faster and more effectively.
  • Believing in yourself: This might sound kind of cheesy, but it is the most effective strategy to lower procrastination especially in the sense of life. We usually don’t end up doing the things we want because we start believing that we are not able to do them, but by having discipline and believing in ourselves, we can actually become more active in this sense and start doing the things we want to in a much faster pace and surprisingly enough, they end up being better than we even intend to.  

So remember, even if it is just to get that grade you want on that calculus exam, you must believe that you can do it in order to achieve it, or in the wise words of Lopez,

“Don’t let the opportunity go away because academic things are secondary to the things that you actually want to do in life.”

 

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How to Procrastinate Less and Manage Your Time