Your professor says you have an essay due next Thursday. What do you do? Continue reading if you are one of many students who waits until the last minute.
At a recent event to help students with procrastination, City College Professor Charles Frye discussed why people procrastinate. “We all put off what we dislike,” he says.
He lists four major components of procrastination:
Expectancy: People who only expect failure have low expectancy and avoid tasks, thinking they’ll fail.
Value: If you don’t value yourself, you assume you can’t succeed so put off trying.
Delay: “The longer the delay, the less motivated we are to do it,” explains Frye.
Impulsiveness: Most people who procrastinate are impulsive because they value what they have today and worry about future events later.
Henry Semanjarrez, a City College student majoring in physics, says he displays many habits common to procrastinators. “I go on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, watch YouTube videos, play piano,” says Semanjarrez. “I eat and I study things that are completely irrelevant to the homework I SHOULD be doing.”
He also works out to avoid doing what needs to get done. “Procrastination has made me one weird individual,” he explains. “If I didn’t do any of that, I’d probably have all of my assignments in on time and I wouldn’t spend sleepless nights writing papers.”
Charles Frye provides tips to beat procrastination:
- Instead of anticipating failure, expect success.
- Divide and conquer your tasks to make them manageable.
- Plan it out! That will help you decrease impulsiveness. Buy a planner or use a computer, write down assignments or if it helps save time, take a picture of the board. says Frye.
- Declutter your life!
Frye also suggests getting short but intense exercise three times a day (for fitness, not to procrastinate), drink cold water, and set realistic goals to “break yourself off bad habits.” He does understand that it is hard to have motivation when there is no value. If you find yourself bored, create a challenge.
He adds, one last tip. “If you don’t touch something in six months, you don’t need it.”