When you have homework but don’t want to do it, you usually will:
- A) Clean or do other chores
- B) Watch a movie or watch TV
- C) Practice a time consuming hobby
- D) I don’t usually try and avoid homework.
If you answered A), B), or C), then congratulations! You, my friend, have procrastinated at some point. If you answered D), then good for you, that is some great self-control.
Because when it come to procrastinating – I’ve done it all. Cleaned my messy room. Practiced for outside of school activities. Watched the entirety of my YouTube subscriptions. I’ve even started watching a new show on Netflix (it’s House of Cards and it’s fantastic). None of these activities has succeeded in doing anything more than to cut down on my homework time. Not a single distraction in the world could eliminate the fact that, when all is said and done, homework needs to get done.
When you’re a hard-core procrastinator with a fear of failure – much like myself – that list there has to be finished. And that includes the last item. The problem is, who really wants to hunker down and get stuff done when, really, it’s hard and movies are fun. I mean, I find school pretty rewarding, I like learning. But that won’t stop me from choosing almost anything over essays on any given weeknight.
See, the thing is, when you’re procrastinating, there’s a whole new mindset: Most of the time, deadlines are coming up and projects… NEED TO BE DONE SOON!!!! When you’re putting things off, what should be given a good number of hours for completion, will miraculously be finished in the wee hours of the day it’s due on.
Doesn’t usually feel that great…
(When your essay’s due tomorrow and you’re only halfway done)
So how do we beat procrastination? I mean, it’s not something I see being solved by study tips. You can say don’t procrastinate all you want, I’m inclined to bitterly mutter “try and stop me” under my breath as I click on a new hour-long YouTube video. In fact, having tried some of those study tips (write in an empty room, listen to white noises, etc) I still found myself procrastinating anyways – there’s always something else to do.
Instead of trying to focus on one thing for a long time, which sounds un-fun, let’s try something new. Something to erase that panicky essay writing but also to avoid just sitting at a desk and working for waaaay too long. In the words of Hannah Montana, we have to get the best of both worlds. A little distraction, but also, a little work – preferably work that isn’t done at 3 AM the day the paper’s due.
Let’s look back at that opening question. If you answered A), then maybe your way to get to work is to alternate – do one task, then put that down and do a little homework. Once you’re done a homework session, go on to the next chore you have. If you answered B) then maybe you watch a half hour of whatever you’re watching, then pause to do a piece of homework. Once you’re done, repeat that cycle. If you answered C), then maybe set a goal to reach with your hobby, and once you’ve reached it, but that down and do homework. Again, repeat the cycle.
(If you answered D), then you’ve already got your system down, and I wish I had your ability to just go and do work. You just keep on doing you!)
The bottom line is, it’s not going to be easy to get out of the habit. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I only sometimes can win over procrastination. Things get done, of course, but I always wish I had more time for them. Which, of course is sadly ironic: it was me who gave myself so little time in the first place, after all. But, I think after a lot of time and practice, I’ll be able to figure it out. And so will all of you, for that matter! We’re all capable of figuring out just how to overcome to want to not do homework in a timely fashion.
Let’s just hope that’s figured out sooner rather than later, right?