I know many people have the problem of procrastinating and it is incredibly frustrating. The feeling of wanting to get a lot done but then not having any motivation to get up and actually do it. The only way I would ever really do something I’m dreading is when it has a deadline that I have to meet, otherwise there is a huge possibility I am never going to do it.
Now, even if something has a deadline, it still does not mean I will do it on time. It means I will do it as close to the deadline as I can possibly afford to do. The fact that this has always worked out fine for me is probably what made me not care to change my bad habits. I’m saying bad because it clearly is. Sometimes I just sit on my bed, scrolling through TikTok contemplating how much better my grades would be if I just started earlier. Or all the stress I would have avoided. This habit of procrastinating has made it so hard for me to actually push myself to do something that does not seem to have any urgency.
A couple of years back I watched a Ted Talk by Tim Urban about procrastination, which by the way is a really fun way to get your tendencies put through a magnifier and shoved right back in your face. No, okay really, he describes, with perfect humour the chain of events that occur in the mind of a procrastinator. I would highly recommend you to check out the video for yourself if you are interested. Urban talks about the instant gratification factor that is achieved by doing something that is easy and fun causing people to drift away from their actual responsibilities and do something completely useless but entertaining instead.
This ties in with other ideas on procrastination that discuss the possibility of people simply not being interested in the things that they procrastinate and therefore they never really want to start. Of course, liking something you are doing makes it easier to start and actually see it through to the end. However this goes hand in hand with motivation and feelings of responsibilities. Like I said earlier, I only ever felt really pushed to start something if I know it has a deadline. Once I do not feel that sense of urgency or responsibility in regards to a task it has a 99.9 percent chance of being left on the sideline.
Over the last two years I actually think this got kind of worse than it was before. I started to notice how my procrastination did not only affect my school work but actually branched out to different parts of my life.It is important to be self aware about your behavior if you want to change it and therefore, noticing that this was happening made me self aware enough to try and fix some of the damage.
Now I’m still a work in progress, but I thought it might be nice to close off with some tips for my fellow procrationators, since there really are things that helped. One of the things that I found really worked for me was to pick something that is on your to-do list, that you are dreading the most and reserve it for the last (this way you can kind of procrastinate a little without stressing about it). Then once you finish all the other ‘simpler’ tasks you go back to the one you were not excited about and divide it into smaller tasks that you can spread throughout multiple days. Dividing big tasks into smaller ones is always great! This way, it does not seem so intimidating to actually start, since that is the hardest part….
Author: Gauri Ghisai
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Magali Meijers