Being a long-time sufferer of procrastination, I’m here to show you how I’ve (mostly) overcome it.
High school was when I procrastinated the most. I would almost never, and I mean like pretty much never, study for any tests or exams. I wouldn’t study at all. And if I felt like I needed to, the studying would consist of about ten minutes the night before or the day of. But that’s because I felt like I didn’t need to. For the most part I either knew the material or I could live with whatever grade my unprepared self received. I would almost always write my papers the night before or even the class before the one it was due in. I rarely read books we were supposed to read and if I did it would be a quick skim to simply get the main idea of the text. And now that I’m in college I’ve realized I could very, very easily, get away with my same practices. But here’s why I’ve started my college career off differently despite the enticement of procrastination:
For one, as soon as I get an assignment- I get it done that day. And usually even before I leave campus. It gives me the rest of the day to get other work done, or do whatever I want.
Secondly, I realize my old thought that I did my best work under pressure was wrong. I do much better work if I do my assignments right away. I believe I owe this better performance to the thought in the back of my mind that I’ll have extra time to come back and go over my work- even though I rarely do this. The thought itself motivates me to do better work the first time, even if I don’t act on the actual re-checking process.
The other parts of my life, besides school, suddenly became more organized as well. My room is magically no longer a complete mess. I do my household chores, and get way more laundry done than I ever have before.
My appearance, and hygiene, have improved tremendously. It no longer feels like a chore to shave, brush my teeth, pick out clothes, etc. And I believe this is because of all my extra, more managed time. I feel as if I dress nicer and feel better overall because of it.
I now have more time to pick up other hobbies and more importantly, ones that are good for my physical and mental health. Working out, hiking, fishing, writing, spending time with friends and family, etc. It feels great to be able to do these things without a task I haven’t yet done weighing on me in the back of my mind.
I can sum it all down to this for you- get what you know you have to get done finished as soon as you know it is going to need completed. Whether it gets assigned today and is due tomorrow, or if it is assigned today and due next week. Do it that day, and have the rest of that time to do whatever it is you want. You will see tremendous benefits come your way. Working ahead is never a bad idea. Do next weeks assignments- that might mean your schoolwork, your report for work, laundry for the family, whatever it may be. Pack your lunch the night before and give yourself more time the next morning. This concept of doing before it’s due is a huge key in having a better and more managed life.