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No More Sunday Scaries

Tips to combat procrastination and promote proper planning 

We are all familiar with the dreaded Sunday Scaries. The weekend festivities have come to a close and the aftershock from lack of sleep and too much fun is only heightened by the massive amounts of work. These overwhelming elements may seem too much to bear and will likely have you wishing you could doze off in bed; however, follow these quick tips to combat procrastination and successfully triumph the Sunday scaries.

Be preemptive!! If you feel like you’re in a constant struggle with procrastination, don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a 2014 American Psychological Association study, between 80 and 95 percent of college students procrastinate on their schoolwork. Whether we justify this tendency by saying that we work “better under pressure” or simply acknowledge that sometimes we just need a break from work, procrastination is the number one contributor to the Sunday scaries.

Although Schoolwork is probably the last thing you want to do come Friday afternoon. If you allocate just an hour or so of your time to beginning your work prior to the weekend celebrations begin, you will automatically have less work to do Sunday night. Chances are, no matter how long your week was, you’ll be in a better mindset to efficiently and effectively approach your work Friday, or even Saturday, because you will not be under the extreme stress of cramming. In the wise words of the great Mason Cooley,  “an American aphorist known for his witty aphorisms”, “Procrastination makes easy things hard; hard things harder.” So push yourself just a little farther while you are still fresh during the week to chip a little bit of work away, you will thank yourself Sunday night!

If the idea of homework on a Friday is simply too much to bear, consider simply laying out your plan of action. So often times the sheer volume of work overwhelms us so much that we don’t even know where to start. This tends to cause us to stress and further procrastinate, ultimately creating a downward spiral of stress and unproductivity. Though a set agenda will not reduce the amount you have to do, it will help ease your mind and allow you to calmly approach your work. This agenda will help you visually compartmentalize your work and ensure that you remember everything. Furthermore, regardless of how long your list is, this tangible representation will keep your mind from over exaggerating how much you have to do.

Psychologist and author Dr. David Cohen explains the value of “to-do lists” for in addition to giving us structure and a plan that we can stick to, “they are proof of what we have achieved that day, week or month.” As mundane as it sounds, the simple act of crossing off items on your list will boost you with a surge of confidence as it forces you to focus on what you have achieved, rather than being paralyzed by everything that you still have to complete.

As overwhelming as your Sunday nights may be, remember the Sunday scaries don’t stand a chance to preemptive work and proper planning. Take a deep breath, sip your coffee, and stay calm. With a clear mindset, you will be able to combat your work efficiently and effectively.

Grace Keilen

Wake Forest '21

Grace is from Boston, MA
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