In one of my classes this past week, my professor assigned a simple homework assignment: to watch a video about procrastination, and respond to it with our own opinions and experiences regarding procrastination. It really got me thinking: Why do we, as students, as workers, as people, procrastinate?
I've definitely had my own experiences with procrastination, just as, I assume, most students. In high school and the first year or so of my college career, I was an expert procrastinator. I waited as long as possible to write my papers, do homework assignments, study, etc. I even believed that I was able to exert my best work under pressure. I rationalized that this was the best route to success, even though I pulled many all-nighters and spent too much crying over a homework assignment I didn't understand that's due tomorrow, that was in fact assigned over a week ago. I'm sure you've been there, too. I mean, I managed a 4.2 GPA in high school, and a 4.0 my first two semesters of college, so I had to be doing something right, right?
My second year of college rolled around and suddenly my classes weren't so simple. I found my major classes to be extremely challenging, and I knew they were going to take all of my concentration. The way I'd been working the past couple of years was not going to fly - I had to make a change; I had to come up with a plan.
I am a very organized individual, and I like order in my life. I like to maintain as much control as I can. I know myself well. So, I began to I schedule time in each of my days to get schoolwork done. I acknowledged that some days are busier than others and that some days there wouldn't be time to get stuff done, so I adjust. I set goals. I rewarded myself for meeting those goals. My life simply became my life, completely. I felt completely powerful and in control of my destiny. I became the best version of myself. It worked perfectly for me, and I began to complete tasks in all areas of my life on time with little to no stress, sometimes long before the deadline.
The thing is, is what I've found is that I feel so much better about myself when I don't let my anxiety take over my life. When I push the part of me that yearns for instant gratification out of my view and let the rational voice inside my head take the wheel. Sure, I love to have fun with my family and friends and enjoy my leisure time, but I find that I enjoy it so much more when it's well-earned leisure time.
So, next time you're thinking about pushing back starting that paper due next week, remember: you are in control. Make it happen, for YOU.