Are you guilty of waiting until the last minute before doing anything? Do you and your friends pull all-nighters on a weekly basis? Do you find yourself drinking more and more coffee, jittery and anxious about the next deadline? If so, you are most likely a victim of procrastination—but you are not alone. Many college students are guilty of this bad habit. In fact, procrastination seems to have become an integral part of college culture. Although this is the norm in many campuses, this is definitely not the best way to go about with your academic career. The habits connected with procrastination, such as working at the last minute, pulling all-nighters, and drinking too much caffeine are not good for your grades, health, or for your future. Once you get used to this kind of work ethic, you will carry this to your future work. If you give yourself enough time to complete your tasks and assignments, you will be able to achieve higher grades and a healthier lifestyle. Start these better studying habits and beat procrastination this semester.
What is Procrastination?
Unfortunately, human beings have been procrastination for decades. Such issue is so timeless that ancient Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, have already observed this phenomenon, developing a word to describe it: Akrasia.
Akrasia is defined as the state of operating against your better judgment. Here, you consciously choose to do one thing instead of doing something else, well-aware of the fact that you should be doing so. Loosely based on this, one can say that akrasia essentially pertains to procrastination or the lack of self-control.
For a modern definition, procrastination is actually the act of postponing or delaying a certain task or set of tasks. It is a force that prevents you from doing what you need to do.
Why do people procrastinate?
Willpower is often regarded as the leading cause of procrastination, but experts argue that it is actually our intrinsic motivation that helps us overcome the phenomenon of procrastination. To further understand the intricate workings of procrastination, here are the factors that may be contributing to its cultivation:
- Decision paralysis. The number of opportunities the world offers today is overwhelming. Modern society reveres individual freedom in the assumption that the more freedom the people have, the happier they are. Why aren't people any happier today than they were in the past, however? The truth is, we have become easily confused about what should become a priority, what is relevant to us and what is not, along with figuring out what is right from wrong. Because of more freedom to make our own decisions and to conduct our actions, we have slowly become demotivated to act, much less do anything at all. To counter this factor of procrastination, we must set our beliefs and personal goals straight, as well as develop our positive habits.
- Ignorance of time’s value. We've all been born and at some point, we will die inevitably. The time we spend on Earth is short, and well, finite. Considering these facts, one can agree that time is the most valuable commodity you will ever have the liberty of consuming. It has never been money – you can earn, save, and borrow, but time remains ticking. Perhaps the sooner we realize just how valuable time is, we will fight off procrastination even harder.
- A lack of self-discipline. It is easy to give yourself orders, organize lists, and think about goals. Following through with them, however, is a different story. While the lack of self-discipline is not the primary cause of procrastination, it plays an integral role. To become disciplined, you have to look for the best ways to on how to stay motivated. Cultivating positive habits is a start.
Tips to Avoid Procrastination
- Create a to-do list. Write down the tasks that you need to accomplish and arrange them based on priority. This will ensure that you do not forget any tasks, both minor and major. Additionally, creating a to-do list is somewhat therapeutic. It can help you calm down before you take on your day. This helps you weed out the most common cause of procrastination—being overwhelmed by tasks.
- Break down large tasks. If you have a lengthy project to complete, do not try to finish it the night before the deadline. Instead, break down the tasks into baby steps and mark each goal in your to-do list and calendar. Each task should have a set deadline, too.
- Get rid of distractions. Part of beating procrastination is the atmosphere of your study place. You can avoid temptations to watch movies or scroll through social media if you find a place that is free from such distractions. This is why the library is always one of the best places to study on any campus. You can replicate an environment that is conducive to studying in your dorm room, too, with the help of apps like RescueTime. RescueTime is one of many apps that help track how much time you spend on each activity, so you can trace your habits and find better ways to focus.
- Find a Study Partner. A study partner is a great way of holding yourself accountable to getting set tasks done on time. You and your study partner can agree on a set schedule where you will both work on your research papers. You can even brainstorm ideas on how to write your essays or simply offer motivating words for each other.
- Extend the time you spend on studying in intervals. No human being can work continuously for hours. That will simply burn you out. Forcing yourself to work longer on just one task will make you even less productive. Maximize your productivity instead by employing the Pomodoro Technique—taking a break every 15 or 30 minutes of work done. You can even turn this into a challenge—work longer every week until you can focus for an hour straight.
- Reward yourself. All work and no play can make it hard to stay focused and motivated. Do not hesitate to reward yourself for every achievement with things such as walks, time with friends, or even just a great meal. The key is to find a healthy balance between your academic life and personal life. You are less likely to procrastinate if you are happy, healthy, and motivated.
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There are simply days when we reach the end of our wits and we can no longer prioritize our tasks. Procrastination is a pit everyone falls into every now and then. There is only so much a student can do in a day before they are completely burnt out and out of energy to focus and write even a short paragraph. No matter how well you manage your schedule, you might have to compromise one subject over another to maintain a passing GPA. You can stay on top of your workload by getting some help from the finest at CustomEssayMeister.