The 5 stages of procrastination (plus, how to deal)
After a long a day at school the last thing you want to do is hours of homework. Your comfy couch is so much more inviting, promising a life-changing nap or hours of Netflix-delivered entertainment. You tell yourself that your homework can wait until after dinner, making the decision that throws you into the current of procrastination. While it is totally ok to take the occasional well-deserved break, here's how to spot the 5 stages of this procrastination cycle and flip the switch from postponing to prospering.
Its Monday, and a new paper was just assigned to be handed in by Friday. You were totally gonna get the outline done after dinner, but your bestie called with some major news about her crush and next thing you know it's time for bed. It's fine since you have the rest of the week, right? Not if other big assignments pop up. Break your workload down into smaller portions so you have an easy and manageable task each day. For example, the outline of the paper, the rough draft and the final editing can be spread out over three days. By doing this you can knock out your assignments, feel satisfied with your day's work and still enjoy some free time after.
It all begins when that firm plan you had to work out right after school gets pushed back until after you watch that new episode on Disney +. When you start getting tempted by the dark side, implement the 90/30 rule. Turn away from all screens and distractions for 90 minutes of productivity, followed by a 30-minute break. You could totally fit in an episode of your fave show then! This schedule prioritizes your time but also lets you have a little break from your long day.
You have to finish your science project, get ready for a track meet and clean your room all in the same night?! At this stage, you may start beating yourself up for not getting a headstart on things earlier, thinking it's impossible to finish on time. Take five minutes to just breathe or meditate when you feel all that nervous energy starting to build up. Tell yourself that you got this! Start with the easiest task on your to-do list and work your way up. If you have to stay up a little later then you'd like, try drinking some caffeinated tea to keep you alert.
The Biology exam is tomorrow and you still don't understand the Krebs cycle. While this form of studying isn't ideal, the key to cramming is making every minute count. Make flashcards to look at on your bus ride to school, watch educational YouTube videos while you do the dinner dishes, etc. This way you are learning the most information you possibly can in the time you have left. You can even implement these study habits in your regular routine to optimize your productivity and lower your chances of future cramming.
You did it! The weekend is here, and it feels so good to be free. This is where you can reevaluate your habits and tools. Look up ways to make your notes more intriguing to look at. Ask your older siblings or friends how they managed their time when they were in your grade. By putting more time and thought into your work, you are increasing your chances of a higher grade *and* less stress.
Tell us your procrastination horror stories in the comments. How did you get through it?