As we near the end of the semester, it’s getting to be crunch-time. I have more projects assigned right now than I’ve had in probably every other semester combined, so it’s been a real grind making sure I can get everything in on time. My projects, mostly in groups, involve building an entire mySQL database for ISE-382, collaborating to revise a technical Wikipedia article for WRIT-340, building and analyzing a simulation of a restaurant ordering queue system, and a media project for my gender studies GE class. These along with regularly scheduled homeworks have meant almost non-stop work—so how do I even have time to write this blog, you ask? I’ll be sharing my number one tip that changed the way I work forever, and if you’re a procrastinator like me, this applies to you.
Essentially, I’ve been able to harness my procrastination dragon into something productive. Whenever I have an assignment due that I’m unmotivated to do for one reason or another, I “procrastinate” doing that assignment by instead doing other ones that I know I’ll enjoy doing more—even if those other ones have later due dates or are less important. This strategy works in a couple ways. One, it makes me feel less guilty for not doing the work that I know I should be prioritizing, because I’m at least still being productive in some way. My brain still gets whatever serotonin boost it gets from putting things off, but I’m still getting something done. Two, when I do finally get around to finishing the piece of work I put off, I’m immediately gratified because not only did I get it done, but I have little else to worry about because I did everything else first.
Coping with procrastination is hard, but with a little bit of work, you too can harness your dragon and become a functioning student again.