by: Jayla Galvez, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader
Procrastination gets the best of us and there is no need to be ashamed of it. A conversation I had with a close friend of mine helped me put this into perspective. We were in the car one day and she was talking about a video she watched of top students pulling an all-nighter to work on a paper they had due the next day. She said that this is what a lot of smart people do. We laughed about how the students in the video were crying at some point before continuing their paper. It was all too relatable. This was either before or after she came back from getting her master’s at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. What did I gain from that conversation? Procrastinating does not mean that you’re not smart! It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are lazy either.
Some people may feel like they work better under pressure, but others may not feel that way at all and fall into the category of passive procrastinators. Passive procrastination is when someone puts off completing a task out of fear or intimidation of that task. Sometimes this is a fear of failure, the heavy workload, or the thought that if it isn’t perfect, it isn’t worth turning in. This kind of thought process can be a barrier to success and have people drowning in an endless cycle of procrastination. Sometimes a huge part of getting over procrastination is the mindset that you have.
Here are some personal tips that I use to pull myself out of the vicious cycle of procrastination:
Limit the distractions around you. Go where you feel the most calm and stable minded. Personally, the library doesn’t always work for me, sometimes I need to be in a coffee shop, or the dining hall, and sometimes I need to just switch up my environment. Do what works best for you.
Speak positively to yourself! Remind yourself that you are far more important than the situation and no grade or achievement is greater than your wellbeing. Without you, those accomplishments would mean nothing, and that you are more than capable of doing whatever you set your mind to do.
Notice the early signs of burnout. Is your body trying to warn you that you are overwhelmed? Check in with yourself. Are you eating much less or much more? Are there any noticeable changes in your health or attitude? Are you spending less time with friends than usual this study season? Maybe it is time to reset and take a self-care day. Just like our bodies, our minds need rest sometimes. Taking a day away from the books can help you feel more refreshed and be more productive.
This too shall pass. I would look back on the fast-approaching deadline and be afraid of the time I had to complete assignments, but this was also strangely comforting because I knew that no matter what, the day would come when this would be due, and it wouldn’t be on my mind anymore. The day to drop the pencil, close the books, and walk away from my inbox for a while. It is coming, and whatever happens, you should be proud of yourself for whatever you were able to do, even if it was just getting out of bed this morning and getting a sip of water.
Feel free to check out this article that looks into different reasons for procrastination, types of procrastination (active and passive), and a few methods on how to overcome it.