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Added April 23, 2014

Stop Procrastinating!

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Are you a procrastinator? In times of stress do you find yourself daydreaming, watching TV, or getting busy with anything but what you are supposed to be doing? Do you get involved in time-wasting activitiesemail, video games, phone callsrather than attempt to attack your school work? Does this behavior cause you shame and guilt and embarrassment? Has it interfered with your relationships? Your grades?


Well, calm down, you're not alone. And the beginning of a bright new year is a good time to stop procrastinating. Researchers report that about 20% of the population procrastinate, and up to 70% of college students say they're guilty of wasting time. The constant deadlines, tests, projects, and grades cause many of us to beat ourselves up. Sometimes it's a question of time management; sometimes it's sabotaging ourselves by putting obstacles in our path.


Exactly what is procrastination? It's the gap between intending to complete a task (a term paper) and the action of actually getting to work. When you procrastinate, you actively put something off. You do your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. You miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts because you miss the deadline. You start studying for the final the night before. Whether you behave this way because you enjoy the thrill of waiting for the last minute or because you're afraid of failing or because you just can't make a decision, there's usually a huge price to pay.


Students who procrastinate have more colds and flu and more stomach and sleep problems than those who don't. They tell lies to themselves..."I'll feel more like doing this tomorrow. I work best under pressure. I'm more creative at the last minute." They overestimate the time they have left to perform tasks and underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks. And they mistakenly believe that they must feel like doing a task, that they have to be "in the mood before they tackle it.


So what can you do to get rid of this habit? Try these strategies to stop procrastinating: 

1. Make a list of the things you need to do in order of importance.
2. Don't try to finish a large job in one swoop. Understand that your time and attention are limited.
3. Break large jobs into small tasks; that'll help to instill feelings of accomplishment and success.
4.Tell someone else your plan so they will hold you accountable.
5. Reward yourself. For every hour of work, promise yourself 15 minutes of play.
6. Estimate the time it will take to finish a task, then up it by 100%. That will keep your expectations realistic.
7. Just stop procrastinating. You'll be so glad you did!

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