They say admission is the first step in the road to recovery, so here I go: My name is Corey, and I’m a serial procrastinator. I’m easily distracted and even more so easily entertained — two characteristics that make a deadly procrastination combination.
My motto in life has always been, ‘Why do today what you what you can put off until tomorrow?’ I’ve lived by this mantra whole-heartedly, although my mom has always accused me of having a procrastination problem — To which I reply, ‘I don’t have a problem. I can stop whenever I want!’
I try to justify my foolish behavior by claiming that I work better under pressure, but that’s far from true. I crack like an iPhone screen under pressure. The closer that impending deadline gets, I begin to feel overwhelmed, complain to my roommates about all the stuff that I have to do, pity myself and then crawl into bed to take a nap because I just don’t have the time to take care of all my responsibilities. Woe is me.
While I always miraculously get my work done after days of procrastinating, I pay for it with my mental stability. Doing everything last minute will eventually wear you down. As a soon-to-be college graduate, I’ve finally decided to stop being the root of my own stress. I’ve found a few ways to help me manage my time more effectively and stay productive.
- Get a planner and write in it religiously
It’s likely that if you don’t write your tasks down, you’ll remember them at a painfully inconvenient time — like when you’re in the shower and you have a quiz due online in 30 minutes.
Organizing all your priorities into a list is not only a good way to remind yourself that it needs to be done, but it also shows you just how many things you have to do. Extra-long lists will make you panic for a minute, but they also force you to realize that you need to get started on your work before it completely consumes you.
- Find what motivates you and give yourself incentives
There are tons of reasons to get your work done in a timely matter. For me, it’s being free to always say yes when a friend calls me to go on a spontaneous adventure — something I can’t do if I’m working with a tight deadline. If I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I tell myself that I can’t go out with my friends until my finish my paper that’s due next week. Stay strict with yourself and reward yourself when you deserve it!
- Get rid of the distractions
Two words: cat videos. This guilty pleasure is my No. 1 Internet weakness. They lure me in with their enticing titles and inescapable cuteness. And before I know it it’s two hours later, and I still haven’t started my research paper.
Don’t let the Web suck you in! If you’re like me and can’t be trusted, you can download programs to help you, such as StayFocusd, an extension of Google Chrome that restricts the amount of time you spend on certain websites. Once you’ve used up your allotted time, the sites you choose to block will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
And finally, my most useful piece of advice:
- Suck it up and get it done
I think this one speaks for itself.
– By Corey Bruecker, assistant account executive