The year just started and I feel as though I am starting to get behind rather than ahead. In fact – the year just started and I’ve already handed in an assignment late. Granted the penalty was only a 1%, but really that should be no excuse.
Why drove me to hand it in late? A mix of things; communication with my professors, anxiousness, some confusion about the assignment, however, it was mainly procrastination.
Procrastination is a dear friend, sometimes I find myself getting ready to start an essay and then somehow, I remember that I hadn’t finished my laundry and the bathroom was a mess. How could I possibly work when I was surrounded by things that took precedent? Obviously, the lack of candles in my room is more important than an essay on the Cold War.
Procrastination is also a pain — while yes, I can admit that some of my best grades came from the rush of doing four pages of comparative analysis in less than ten hours. I hate it. I hate the feeling and the anxiousness that comes from it. My relationship with procrastination? Toxic.
Why do we procrastinate?
To me, the first step of getting a handle on my procrastinating tendencies, was understanding WHY we do it. So, I turned to Google.
Oddly enough, it seems like everyone wants to cover this topic. According to an article by the Washington Post – experts say we procrastinate on tasks we find difficult, unpleasant, or just stressful.
Well then, that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Upcoming assessments are inherently stressful. I struggle a lot starting tasks that I am afraid to do poorly on. Yet I rarely do, and then when I get my grade back and I see I got deducted for the simplest grammar mistakes on an essay and I think — well if I had started earlier and began to edit it earlier, I wouldn’t be in this situation!
That’s why I want to find ways to stop or at least be in a bit more control over it.
How can we stop procrastinating?
For me, the main cause behind my procrastination is fear and overthinking the workload I have.
This midterm season I will be breaking up the deadlines into steps to completing the assignments and exploring resources we have at Academic Success here at U of T.
They have awesome programs around to help keep you accountable. One of them is the Accountability Group to help students create goals to get started on your tasks/work over the week with peers and peer mentors. The group meets Mondays (to set your goals) and Fridays (to reflect on your weekly progress).
To all my fellow procrastinators, I encourage you all to check out these resources. Maybe I’ll see you in a study hub!