Admit it, we all procrastinate sometimes. We've all put off writing that huge research paper, doing our chores, and other things that, we just don't want to do. We tell ourselves, "I'll do it in an hour," but then that hour becomes two hours, and eventually "I'll do it tomorrow". Sometimes it'll even go beyond that, and we find ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get something done. I myself, am a terrible procrastinator. I'll put off just about anything for as long as I can, whether it be homework, waking up, leaving for school in the morning, or even applying for college. Sometimes I'll even put off doing things I enjoy doing, such as blogging. It's not always that I don't want to do it, it's that I get distracted doing other things.
Often times, we put off things because we are either distracted by something else, we want to avoid stress, or we simply don't want to do it. It's really easy to spend the whole night on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube rather than cleaning your room or doing your research paper, or to go hang out with your best friend instead of doing your homework. We would all prefer to do something fun over something stressful. But in all honesty, putting things off causes you more stress than just doing them straight away. You get that nagging little voice in that back of your head that keeps saying "You should being doing [insert task here] right now", and it keeps you from having as good of a time as you would if you had done it already. The voice nags you everywhere you go, and through everything you do. And when you finally get to it at the last minute, you wish you would have used your time more wisely, because it's taking even longer than you anticipated, and you know you won't do as well as you would have if you would have been working on it from the beginning.
When it comes to large assignments, we're typically given more than enough time to get it done, and sometimes we're even given class time to work on them. One of my first steps to beating procrastination is to actually use this class time to work on the assignment, whether it be big or small. It gives you less work to do outside of class, and less to take home. It also gives you the opportunity to as for help if you need it. Don't mess around on the internet or use this time to chat with the people around you. You may even inspire your friends to get to work on their assignments as well if they see you working. And if you have a study hall, use that to get as much of your project done as you can as well if you don't have any other homework due the next day (or the same day). Doing homework that you've been assigned before study hall will lighten you load of homework for when you get home. However, don't save all of your homework to do the next day in study hall. Some assignments may take longer then one study hall to complete, and you might not always get done. Especially if you are in a lot of classes that give homework often. Take what you didn't get done in study hall home. If you have a large project, work on it for a certain amount of time each night at home, 15 minutes to an hour a night would be a good time frame. Or making sure you made a certain amount of progress each night, for example, writing one page of your essay a night. You may even get done early and not have to worry about it near the due date. I will post an example of a project schedule in the future.
You'll also want to set a certain time in which to start doing your homework. Be sure to give yourself a little time to unwind before you begin, and allow some time for a small snack. Don't make it to late at night, and don't set it much more than an hour after you get home. And don't start doing anything that might delay for from starting your homework. When the time comes, no excuses, get off of your favorite website and turn off the TV, and get to work on your homework. If you find yourself getting over stressed, take a short 5 minute break and maybe get a glass of water. Don't start doing other things like going on Facebook or watching TV. You can listen to music while you do your homework as long as it won't become a distraction. The less breaks you take,and the more you focus, the more time you get to yourself at night. Time to chat with your friends and read a book of your choice without that nagging "Do your homework!" :)
Scheduling out specific times a day to do the things you have to do, and going by those times is the first step in breaking the habit of procrastination. Set a time to wake-up, leave for school, start your homework, get ready for bed, and go to bed, and anything else you may need to do and stick to it. You can also schedule certain days and times to do certain chores. If you are given a list of chores to do, it's best to just get it out of the way and do it right away, rather than just thinking about it, or possibly forgetting about it completely and getting in trouble, or disappointing someone.
Procrastination is easy to fall victim to, especially when you're surrounded with distractions, and it's up to you to avoid them. If your homework doesn't require you to use a computer, it's best that you shut your computer off, along with the TV and your cellphone. Resist the urge to check your text messages or see whats tending on Twitter. If you do need to use the computer, stay off of your favorite websites and close out all instant messaging programs. You may even want to put a temporary block on these websites. Many anti-virus programs allow you to block and unblock certain websites. Some even allow you to block the use of certain programs. But again, this is of your own will to block this websites until you finish your work. Don't allow yourself to use or do anything distracting until you are done with what you need to get done.
How do you plan to beat procrastination? How do you keep yourself on top of thing? Remember, you'll always enjoy yourself better without your own mind nagging at you :)