Procrastination: Putting it off doesn’t make it go away

Julia James, Staff Writer

Procrastination. I googled the definition for procrastination on Sunday, about three days before this article was due. I received definitions like: “The action of delaying or postponing something” and “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done”.

But the one that resonated with me the most, from Urban Dictionary nonetheless, was: “I’ll put the definition up later.” Get it? I personally thought it was funny, and as I sit here at 9:17 p.m. on a dark Sunday night, I realize that I am procrastinating. I am procrastinating because, as you just read before, I have no idea where I am taking this article. To make me feel better about myself and the work I believed to be getting done, I spend a few minutes Googling the word “procrastination” — though it is a word we are all too familiar with — and spend some time reading other amusing definitions on But was I really sitting down with my computer and thinking long and hard about what I wanted to say?

The answer to that question is no. And try as we may as high schoolers, and just people in general, to be studious and productive all the time, sometimes it is just a lot easier said than done — that, and there are distractions all around us.

“The work isn’t going anywhere”, “I have plenty of time” and “It won’t take me that long; besides, this show is only an hour” is the mentality. That thought process just doesn’t work. We have high expectations here at DVHS, I realize that. I am not sure what it is like at your house or if you are under lockdown from the time you step into the house until the time after you have studied for that one test that is taking place two weeks from now. But there are some things that surely distract us all, as well as set us off course.

Procrastination is tough because tomorrow always seems much more inviting than today, and later, we convince ourselves, is generally the better alternative than right now.

Stop stressing yourself out over things that you have complete control over. Do the work now if you know that tomorrow is already filled with things that need to be done. No one takes pity on a procrastinator.

I am going to give you a list of solutions to that unmerciful hindrance we call procrastination. As I have yet to attain unwavering concentration, I concede that I am no expert, but I offer them nonetheless.

Make a list. Write down all the homework that needs to get done, all the classes you need to study for and all the upcoming projects you need to work on. When you complete each task, checking that item off the list feels amazing. Sometimes those little accomplishments are all that is needed to power on, in that long list of daunting tasks. Breaking down all of the tasks will help with your procrastination. Organize everything that needs to be completed in categories that work for you. A list may organize your work so you can begin with the harder, more time-consuming assignments before gradually moving on to the easier tasks. Getting the harder assignments out of the way is an achievement in itself; you just need to get in the mindset to do so.

It is all about self-motivation. Convince yourself that right now is the prime time to be productive, that right now is the time to get things done. Lie to yourself if you need to. Just start. Starting is always the hardest part, but after you convince yourself to do so, the task suddenly does not seem as monumental as before.

Potential distractions. Distractions, as we are all too aware, include things like television, the phone and all the things you could potentially do on your phone. With those items out of the way, there should be very little from stopping you from completing your work a few hours before your alarm clock rings.

Make some plans. If all else fails and self-motivation is just not your strong suit, making plans is more of a drastic way to avoid procrastination, but the work gets done early and suddenly there is time to hang out with friends. If you know that you have an English paper due Saturday night at 10 p.m., do not start it at 6 p.m. that evening. Make some plans to go to the movies that night, preferably to one that starts around 7 p.m. Then you will have no choice but to finish the paper and turn it in before you leave for the movie, otherwise it would be late.

But I confess that I am a hypocrite. It is now 10:18 p.m. on Wednesday night, my article is due tomorrow morning and I am completing it just now. It is true; I procrastinated when writing this article, but try not to be like me. Procrastination adds unnecessary stress to life, and if you try hard enough, it is absolutely avoidable. I am hoping these solutions will help. Procrastination is a burden, but when you lose it, suddenly everything is not as taxing.