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Overcoming Procrastination During the Pandemic

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

A new semester in lockdown may not be what most of us wanted, but now we definitely have to find a way to cope with it. Doing all of my chores at home all the time is kind of hard. Like many people, I used to enjoy going out, even if it was to just exercise. Now, I don’t even have that. All I have are assignments that are due and a whole lot of procrastination that keeps me from getting them done. That’s the major problem most of us might be facing during this tough moment: procrastination. Leaving everything for the last minute and preferring to scroll for hours on end through Instagram or TikTok instead of taking advantage of those hours and completing assignments or other tasks. Procrastination was—and still is—a constant issue that I face, but I’ve found a couple of ways to overcome it, and I will be letting you guys onto this secret. Overcoming procrastination is a lot easier than you think!

I enjoy making the most out of my day by working out, journaling, reading, doing homework, and listening to podcasts. All of which, if I miss, I feel as if I did not complete my day correctly. I had to find a way to not procrastinate in order for me to keep focused and simultaneously be able to complete my tasks. I’m sure that most of you want to know the secret right away, but bear with me. Most of the things I will mention can probably be found on Google. 

Chances are that, when you read an article about this topic, the same three things will appear: you have to recognize that you’re procrastinating, acknowledge why you’re doing it, and avoid procrastinating behaviors. Don’t think I’ll say this isn’t true, because it is, but the key to avoiding and ending procrastination once and for all is to have self-control and self-discipline. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. So, if you decide to set aside a specific day for studying, you can do it. It is all about putting yourself up to the task and recognizing how important the task is for you and your development. 

Anna Goddard-Jones

But, how can you achieve it? Well, this is a basic one: through time management. To increase effectiveness and productivity, everyone needs to manage their time, one way or another. Managing your time brings benefits. In this case, the benefit would be good grades or the relief of stress and anxiety; which, we can’t lie, most of us have. Time management is obtained through two major things: planning and exercising efficient control over time. 

Taking the moment to plan your day and your week will help reduce the procrastination you’re dealing with. Keep in mind that you should not only plan it, but  you should also have enough self-discipline to follow that plan. Don’t catch yourself doing homework an hour before it’s due. You can plan on doing it at least two days before, and the day before turning it in, you can revise it. I’m sure that you’re thinking, “I already knew that.” Of course you did! But have you actually tried it? Rather than losing all of your energy due to the stress that homework is causing upon you, you could be using that energy to relax without reminding in the back of your head that you have homework to complete. Perhaps you could now watch Netflix, or read a book, but in peace. 

 Ever since I was a young girl I’ve enjoyed watching series, staying on track with my homework, and extracurriculars; but for that, I had to incorporate time management into my routine. This is the reason as to why you should too: you will be able to complete your tasks. While participating in various activities, I had to incorporate the use of “efficient control over time”, so I’ve picked up some tricks. 

The most important advice I will share with you is to control the usage of your phone. I mean, we can’t hide the fact that we are all kind of addicted to it. I can’t lie to you, I often find myself scrolling for “one minute” and end up watching videos for like three hours, and this all starts with a simple notification! Here’s a trick: activate the “Do Not Disturb” option on your device. Most phones have it and it’s just a button away. It will allow you to concentrate because your phone will not ring, vibrate, nor light up when you receive a notification. It’s probably the best feature that has been created and integrated onto a phone. When it comes to doing your tasks, just leave your phone far away from you. 

Another tip is to add a time restriction on your phone. This is also just a button away and it’s found in settings. It allows you to set an hour where your phone will block any app of your preference. With that, you will be able to complete your plans for the day. 

Wake up early, set up a schedule, and actually respect that schedule. It is all about self-control and self-discipline. Everything that you put your mind to, you can achieve. So, do not choose procrastination. We have all been through it, and sure, you get the job done, but maybe not the way you would’ve wanted. Of course, everyone is different; but perhaps, after procrastinating, a wave of shame could hit us. So, to avoid that feeling, just don’t procrastinate. Make a schedule for your weekly assignments and tasks that you can keep track of. 

Remember, only you can overcome procrastination during this difficult time. I know that you prefer scrolling through TikTok or Instagram or whatever you use, but remember that you have goals that you want to accomplish. Don’t let social media take up your time. Through time management, and all the other tips that I have shared, you can overcome—or at least try to overcome—procrastination. This is still all up to you, though, since I’m sure that you have heard everything that I have mentioned here before. If so, then you should totally try it. Give it a shot! Do not let procrastination take over you. The best advice I can provide is to actually try to incorporate these ways of reducing procrastination. You can do it! 

Joyliz Pérez Vélez is a Public Relations and Publicity student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She is an adventurous soul who loves to travel and discover new things alongside to the people she loves. In her free time, she enjoys bingewatching series, reading, listening to podcasts, journaling and many other things. She loves sharing positivity through words, music, and actions.