Master Procrastinator

Published on the York University Blog on May29, 2009

     So I did it again this year. I left my exam studying to the last second.  I had two massive essays, an exam and two reading journals due within a couple weeks. I also had to go to my part time job. A master time organizer may have started earlier or started their work promptly. While I, the procrastinator, kept putting off the inevitable. It’s not like I go out partying and live it up when I’m wasting time. Instead I tell my friends that “I’m working,” and I proceed to waste time worrying about my essay, watching bad tv or napping. These are my key strategies for avoiding work. Really they’re my strategies for avoiding anxiety and fear.

     I’ve come to analyze my procrastinating ways over the years and I’ve discovered that large challenging projects like an essay scare me out of my mind.  I tend to get scared when there is a possibility that I might make mistakes and bomb a paper. This is a tell-tale sign of the procrastinator. I’ve found some other reasons for  procrastinating: 

  • Being uncertain and uncomfortable with success.
  • Having doubts about your ability to achieve and being unsure of your self confidence.
  • Being easily overwhelmed by stressful situations so you put off work to avoid anxiety.
  • Perfectionism – you’re afraid to make mistakes.

     So over the years I’ve tried to combat procrastination by setting up a structured timetable. I organize to meet someone in the morning so I’ll start out early and then I will return home to study. If I have a lot of little things to do in the house I will tell myself that if I just start a little bit of my homework then I can do those things during my first break. This sets up a goal and a future reward for my actions. 

     I have also started telling myself that even if I just get a section of my work done that that would be alright for the day. When I set my expectations low then I usually exceed them because I’ve taken the pressure off of myself.    

     Other suggestions include finding a study partner who is a master at concentrating to keep you disciplined. You can also tell a friend what your assignments are and their deadlines so that you will have to let them know about your progress.

     I’m sure that you have your own set of tricks for getting work done. You’re almost finished the York University year; the end is near.

You will finish even if you are a procrastinator.


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