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Why do I Procrastinate? And How to Stop it.

As the spring semester nears an end, the summer season looks more and more appealing. I’m looking forward to laying out in the sun without a homework assignment or project in the forefront of my mind. This semester has drained all of my motivation and procrastination has become a rising talent of mine; making my stress levels triple as I hurriedly try to submit my assignments at 11:59 PM. Why do I do this to myself? In my article, I will answer this question along with discussing ways to prevent and stop procrastination from taking hold of you during final’s week. 

According to Psychology Today, procrastination is the act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions. For example, instead of finishing an assignment, one might scroll through social media instead. When it comes to specific reasons one might procrastinate, in terms of demotivating and restrained factors, the following are among the most common: feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, perfectionism, depression, and a fear of failure. Procrastination is often detrimental to individuals and is associated with bad grades and a lack of motivation. 

How do I prevent and stop myself from procrastinating? Here are some suggestions: 

1. Set a goal. 

I find giving myself a manageable goal to achieve can be rewarding. For example, if I’m writing a paper, I will give myself an hour to write one page. Breaking up my assignments in manageable parts can prevent a stress-filled night. 

2. Take a break. 

When studying, even for an hour, your mind needs a break every now and then. As a tip, set your timer for thirty minutes. After the timer has gone off, take a five-minute break either scrolling through Instagram or getting a snack. This method enhances your productivity and memory skills. 

3. Estimate your time. 

I often struggle with either overestimating or underestimating how long a certain assignment will take. Using my time management skills, I can break up my assignments and studying time to better fit my schedule. Through anticipating your homework and exam schedule, you will have no need to procrastinate. 

4. Put aside your perfectionism. 

Nothing can be perfect. Oftentimes, if an individual is a perfectionist, it’s hard for them to focus on a task unless they deem it as attainable. If one feels like a failure, they will procrastinate until the assignment is due because they can’t produce “perfection”. For example, as a perfectionist, I struggle with this one the most. It takes me a considerable amount of time writing a paper because I want every sentence to be “perfect” in regard to grammatical errors and fluency. Sometimes, I have to set my perfectionism aside to finish an assignment or project. 

I hope you take these tips into consideration when studying for finals. And congratulations on making it through another year! Good luck.  

Jordan is a sophomore at Purdue and majoring in History and German, along with a minor in Forensic Science. Originally from Indiana, she loves drinking chai lattes, playing tennis, binge-watching Netflix, and spending time with her golden-retriever dog, Beau.
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