Actually, Procrastination Can Help You Be Productive If You Do It Right

Actually, Procrastination Can Help You Be Productive If You Do It Right

Sometimes we all need that extra little push to be more productive.
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Ever since I was little, I have been told to avoid procrastination.

“This assignment isn’t something you can do the night before,” my professors would say.

“If you want to get anywhere in life, stop procrastinating and start planning out your schedule,” others would note- in attempts to help me organize my life.

I have tried to not procrastinate. I have started assignments weeks in advance and finished papers days before it was due. What I found out, however, is that this method was not particularly effective for me. I’m not saying that procrastination is a good thing and that people should always leave homework until the last minute, but I have come to realize that there are different types of people in this world who work under different systems.

The first group of people like to be organized, and plan out everything they do. Finishing a presentation a whole week in advanced, then spending the next week relaxing is how they like to live their life. It’s a healthy lifestyle, and this is the kind of life that most of us strive to achieve. We work towards this lifestyle, motivating ourselves with the idea of being able to relax.

For a long time, I aimed to become this organized person. I tried doing my homework the day it was assigned and finishing presentations days in advance. Although I had more free time and more opportunity to relax, I found that because I had done these assignments so early, by the time the topic came up in class, I had forgotten a good chunk of information on that assignment. Such a long time passed between when I did the homework and the actual utilization of the information that I was getting confused in class.

Of course, this is partially my fault for not retaining the information I wrote down and not reviewing the homework, but I’m the type of person who does not like to look at an assignment ever again after it’s been finished. When I wrote essays early, I could never sit down and focus on it until I finished.

I would write a few sentences, get distracted by a Buzzfeed article, come back to the essay to write another few sentences, then do some other homework from another class. Because I had started so long before the deadline, it would never be my priority and therefore, my focus would never be on this essay.

That was when I realized there was another group of people in this world. This group of people procrastinates, some more than others. We all have our own reasons for procrastinating, but not all of us do it because we don’t care about the quality of our work.

We procrastinate in order to become more productive within a shorter amount of time. We procrastinate because we perform better with a bit or a lot of pressure. Personally, I have found that doing assignments closer to the deadline helped me retain the knowledge a lot better. In class, it was much easier for me to remember a reading I had read the night before as opposed to days before.

When writing an essay, I found that when I started it at a time closer to the deadline, I had to prioritize it as my main assignment, and I would plow through the essay without interruption for hours. Often times, the result of essays written with this time pressure scored much better than the ones I had started weeks in advance. I was definitely part of this second group of people who worked better under pressure and thrived on that adrenaline rush.

While extreme procrastination is unhealthy, procrastination to some degree can be an effective way of working. At least that’s what I like to tell myself the night before an exam and for the 500th time, I have not started studying.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Ma

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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I Chose A Major That Won't Make Me Millions, But I Would Not Want It Any Other Way

Because if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

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As high school comes to a close, your parents, teachers and friends start to ask you what you want to do with your life. They tell you it's time to start deciding because you'll have to pick a major once you get to college.

Some people start their college career without declaring a major. Some choose a major, only to change it months, or even years, later. I went into college with a declared major. I may have changed my specific career a few times, but I have never changed my major.

I chose something that I was passionate about.

I chose something that I always enjoyed. I chose something that I knew I could make a career out of, while also knowing I can enjoy what I do because it is something I care about.

I may not have chosen to be a doctor or a lawyer. I may not be rolling around in money as an adult. I may not make a top-notch salary.

But money isn't the most important part of choosing a career.

I chose a career path that I knew I would enjoy. I didn't want to wake up every morning and dread having to go to work because I chose something just for the money it could bring me.

So, don't let anyone talk down on you for your chosen career. Every career out there has some kind of importance. Doctors, lawyers, salesmen, teachers, writers, first responders...you're all important and you all contribute to the building blocks of society.

My major may not lead me to make millions throughout my lifetime, but I will be doing something that I love. That is what is important.

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@jakkaiser/Instagram

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