Procrastination not worth temporary rewards

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College is our opportunity to grow out of our procrastinating habits.           
It is natural for our generation to procrastinate using social media and TV season binges. College adds a few more procrastination opportunities having weekly events with free food, intramural sports, and other opportunities, but college is actually a great time to master time management.                  

Christine Chew, an assistant psychology professor, said one reason for procrastination is the emotional component that makes you put off things you dislike or have negative feelings toward. 

A lot of students procrastinate with social media and Netflix, because those activities give students instant gratification, she said.

Snapchat is my instant gratification, but if we don’t learn to control these habits now, they will follow us into adulthood. 

The concept of present bias is that the further away the reward, the less value you give it. 

We as students have to remember that instant reward is only temporary, and when we signed up for college we expected to be challenged.

We have to recognize our daily studying and weekly assignments are temporary rewards and are worth more than our distractions. 


Change your perspective on time

Time management is the biggest reason college students procrastinate.

“I think I have more time than I do, and the assignments end up being longer and more effort than I anticipated,” said James Peterson, a junior communication major from St. George.

Instead of thinking you have a lot of time, start working on your assignments now.

Break it into steps

Leah Romney, a junior integrated studies major from Duck Creek Village, said she knows there can be a lot of stress and anxiety when you think about the amount of time you need to spend on homework.

“Breaking that big assignment into smaller steps makes it less daunting,” she said.

Make it a habit to always make your first step breaking your assignment in manageable steps and then make deadlines for each of those steps.

Make a routine

Make homework time a set part of your routine.

It might be challenging to do this in the beginning of the semester, but after a couple of weeks, you should be able to have a set schedule with periods of freedom to allow yourself flexibility.

Maybe that is telling yourself to go to the library after class for two hours to start on the assignment your professor just talked about. The hardest part of anything is getting started. 

Find what motivates you

Romney said smaller ways she finds to motivate herself are songs, daily quotes and occasionally a motivating movie, but her biggest motivator is her desire to graduate.

“My big picture is I want to graduate, and to do that I need have good grades to pass the class,” Romney said. “That trickles down to: Well I need to get this paper done,” Romney said.

A big motivator for me is crossing things off my to-do list. It makes me feel productive, which makes me happy, and urges me to keep crossing things off my list to stay productive.

I also try to keep my feelings in perspective. I remind myself how I felt when I was up until 3 a.m. cranking out a 10-page paper, and tell myself that I don’t want to feel that way again. 

You can’t quit procrastinating cold turkey, but you can at least start making better habits today.