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Procrastination and Homework

A Little Procrastination is Okay, But Too Much Can Hurt!

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Do you procrastinate? Most of us put things off from time to time, like studying for a test or starting on lengthy research papers, but giving in to diversions can really hurt us in the long run.

Recognizing Procrastination

Procrastination is like a little white lie we tell ourselves. We think we’ll feel better if we do something fun, like watch a TV show, instead of studying or reading.

But when we give in to the urge we always feel worse in the long run, not better.

Do you spend too much time on things that don’t matter? You may be a procrastinator if you:

  • Feel the impulse to clean your room before you get started on a project.
  • Rewrite the first sentence or paragraph of a paper several times, repeatedly.
  • Crave a snack as soon as you sit down to study.
  • Spend too much time (days) to decide on a topic.
  • Carry books around all the time, but never open them to study.
  • Get angry if a parent asks “Have you started yet?”

You probably did relate to at least one of those situations. But don’t be hard on yourself! That means you are perfectly normal. The key to success is, don’t allow these diversion tactics to affect your grades in a bad way.

Avoiding Procrastination

How can you battle the urge to put things off? Try the following tips.

  • Recognize that a feisty little voice lives inside every one of us. He tells us it would be rewarding to play a game, eat, or watch TV when we know better. Don’t fall for it!
  • Think about the rewards of accomplishments, and put reminders around your study room. Is there a specific college you want to attend? Put the poster right over your desk.
  • Work out a reward system with your parent. There may be a concert you're dying to go to. Make a deal way ahead of time—you can go but only if you reach your goals. And stick to the deal!
  • Start with small goals if you’re facing a big assignment. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. Accomplishment feels great, so set small goals first, and take it day by day. Set new goals as you go.
  • Finally, give yourself time to play! Set aside a special time to do whatever you want. Afterward, you’ll be ready to get to work!

    More Procrastination Tips

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