Just Do It… Later

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Just Do It… Later

Abby Collins, Staff Writer

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In the life of a high schooler, time is of the essence. Busy teens live on a mental calendar, constantly keeping track of a jam-packed schedule and filling in the empty spaces with new commitments. Life gets difficult to juggle when you have sports practice every day, club meetings after school, leadership roles to fulfill, two tests on Thursday, a project due on Friday, an essay due at midnight, 100 math problems due tomorrow, and friendships to maintain. It is safe to say that for most students, there is no time to spare, yet 87% of them call themselves a procrastinator.

Often times, procrastination is associated with laziness. While this can be true, psychologists researching this issue attribute procrastination to deeper motives. Perhaps, it all comes down to a person’s attitude and mood. The issue is that procrastinators create negative associations with the task at hand, and they cope with this negativity by avoiding the task, sacrificing the long-term benefit for the short-term benefit. Their actions are driven to avoid discomfort and/or fear. When we, as humans, procrastinate, “..we’re not only aware that we’re avoiding the task in question, but also that doing so is probably a bad idea. And yet, we do it anyway” (Lieberman 5). Procrastination continues with rationalization. For a procrastinator, there is nothing more satisfying than smoothly getting away with barely meeting the deadline, and there is nothing more comforting than hearing the words, “I haven’t started either.” This is what allows procrastinators to justify their unhealthy actions, which leads to repetition of behavior when facing the next assignment. Eventually, students fall into the degrading cycle of doing everything at the last minute.

Clearly, the root of procrastination is negative attitudes, but it also produces more negativity in one’s life. Humans were not designed to constantly live on edge, which is why all procrastinators know their habits are wrong, and they feel guilty. To fix one’s problem of procrastination, the solution is to blatantly escape his or her comfort zone and face the task head on, despite hesitations. It is important to remind oneself that the anxiety felt towards a task is illusory and cannot be dealt with by pushing it away. The key is to just do it. Also, in the long run, it is beneficial for all procrastinators to reevaluate their attitudes and rewire their thoughts to generate more positivity. Exercising a positive mentality increases motivation and makes it easier to escape the procrastination cycle. Dreaded tasks should be viewed as opportunities, instead of obligations.

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