Procrastination: What You Don’t Know
The power to postpone work is wonderful. You alone get to decide what’s more important here and now, and leave the consequences to the future you. However, this really isn’t a super power, it’s really just procrastination. It’s a “super power” we hate to kick because we’re actually praised for our effort. If this sounds familiar, you may want to continue reading, as well as consider an Orange County private tutor -our tutors know how to motivate. We’ll take a look at what procrastination really is, and some tips to overcome it. It’s nothing complicated, and something we can all do to stop allowing procrastination to linger.
After doing everything wrong and turning in a project at the last second, we get a passing grade. We’re rewarded for behavior we know is wrong, and may even be angry that the teacher or our boss can’t see bad work. We have no outside reason to attempt to change, so we continue the behavior. “Become more organized” is usually suggested to most procrastinators (READ: “The Student’s Guide to Study Breaks“). In reality, procrastination has little to do with being organized. Ask any procrastinator what they should be doing, and they’ll know exactly what it is and when it’s due.
What makes non-procrastinators different?
What can stop the behavior is one simple act; thinking. If we choose to recognize procrastination for what it is, and make an effort to improve ourselves, we have a fighting chance. Consider this: children are likely to take one cookie now if promised ten cookies tomorrow. This is because children haven’t learned about what some call present bias. It’s basically a learned behavior involving the recognition that what you want can change over time. It’s why we order the workout videos online and in two weeks they’re collecting dust in a corner. Present “us” thought that future “us” would be really motivated to work out; that didn’t happen. (READ: “5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Beat Procrastination“)
So what makes those people, the ones that seem to never procrastinate, different? It’s all about thinking. If we would just recognize that we all procrastinate, we could take steps to work around it. It’s not that some don’t procrastinate; they just know how to trick themselves out of present bias. These people, who bought the workout videos, may agree to do them with a friend to increase motivation. Or maybe they do the workout right before their favorite TV show to reward themselves when they finish. One person’s style of procrastination avoidance may not work for someone else, but trying is the only way you’ll figure out what works for you. (Maintaining a blog will help you improve consistencies in your school work. READ: “5 Reasons Students Should Blog“)
Procrastination is a bad habit, but a bad habit that can be broken. Try the following the next time procrastination rears its ugly head:
You convince yourself you’ll do it later.
- THINK: Notice what you’re doing (procrastinating) and consider what your future self will think. Your future self would probably say just do it now.
You say you just need five more minutes of Facebook and then you’ll start homework.
- THINK: Recognize that you’re forming a habit. The more times you expand your break, the harder it will be to start again. (Procrastination will not treat you well in college. Consider an Irvine college consultant to get you motivated before you head to University.)
You feel like now is not a good time, that a later time will be better.
- THINK: Realize that you are only creating fear around the action now. If you are not ready now, how will you be ready in the future unless you do something now to get ready?
Even if you dislike the activity, active participation will leave you with a better feeling in the end because you’ve completed it; inactivity only leads you in a negative direction. Procrastination is no different than any other issue we fight as students. Whether it’s a dislike of reading or difficulty with memorization (CLICK: Reading tutoring), we can’t get past it until we recognize the problem. What have you got to lose? We all know we feel better when assignments are turned in on time and when we’re not stressed for midterms; we feel in control and proud of our accomplishments. Start thinking today by recognizing where and when you procrastinate, and work towards tricking yourself to get more done.
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Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.