Photo taken by Keara Barron
We all know by now that high school isn’t what Hollywood makes it out to be. Though we grow as people and build relationships during this time, these four years can be stressful. The amount of work we have to do seems endless, college is just around the corner and finding a balance between all our activities is almost impossible. Luckily, I’m here to give you advice on how to tackle some of the problems we face, like procrastination.
As high school students, I think it’s safe to say that most of us have procrastinated before, and many of us have made it a bad habit. While it can be hard to find motivation and start working on that weekend homework or studying for that test, it is possible to fight procrastination and be productive. Here are some tips:
Don’t think about all the work you have to do; just do it.
Imagining yourself doing all the items on your agenda can be mentally exhausting and discouraging. We often think about the amount of work we have to do and that’s why we continue to put it off. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, so instead of thinking about the amount of work, just do it. However, is it helpful to write down your homework so you don’t forget any of it. This will also help you prioritize and manage your time effectively. Use short phrases when writing down your homework so it doesn’t appear overwhelming.
Set goals for yourself.
If you set goals of what you want to accomplish and write them down, you’re more likely to achieve them. Your goals for getting work done can be simple, too. For example, if you have weekend homework, you may want to aim to have all your math homework done by noon on Saturday. If you have a class project to do, make a timeline of what you need to work on each day and consistently follow that timeline. Make a note if you have reached a certain goal. This allows you to track your productivity and realize what you did well.
This is one of the ways to push yourself to actually get started. When you begin homework or studying, put your phone in a different room or even on the other side of the house. This will make it easier to resist checking social media or texting. If you’re using a computer for your work, only use the web page or program that you need.
Set intervals of time to work and be in a distraction-free environment.
I know this is hard, but make an effort to be away from your phone and completely devote a set amount time to work. You can start out small and spend 10 or 20 minutes on homework or studying. When you reach that time goal, reward yourself. Possible rewards include a snack or a three to five minute break. Try not to reward yourself with being on your phone, because that will make it harder to get back to work.
Fix your sleeping schedule.
I know we have bad sleeping habits, but staying well-rested may provide motivation and prevent some procrastination. Yes, we’re busy and sometimes it’s necessary to stay up late to get homework done. However, it’s important to get an adequate amount of rest and make an effort to follow a healthy sleeping schedule.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Despite all our efforts, sometimes procrastination is inevitable. Don’t be too hard on yourself for procrastinating, but don’t let it become a persistent habit either. And if it is a habit, work on breaking it by consistently applying these tips. Having said all this, it’s important to live a little. Have a day of rest and don’t be afraid to treat yourself.
Hold yourself accountable.
This might be the hardest part of fighting procrastination. None of these tips will work if you don’t keep yourself accountable and have the willpower to break the habit of procrastinating. One way to stay accountable is asking someone, such as a parent or a sibling, to stay on your case and make sure you’re busy at work.