‘Fight Procrastination Day’ encourages teens to put distractions aside

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Hallie Gallinat

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By Hallie Gallinat

Sophomore Katie Barnett tries to get ahead on her homework in the CCA on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

School is back in session and classwork is piling up. Some students may feel the urge to hold off on doing their assignments. With Sept. 6 being Fight Procrastination Day, an unofficial holiday, those procrastinators may be left wondering how they can stop their habit.

“I sometimes struggle with procrastination,” sophomore Katie Barnett said. “It depends on if I’m really interested in the assignment. If I’m feeling passionate about the assignment then I’ll get to work on it but if I’m not then it takes me a while.”

Procrastination starts with avoidance of the task and making excuses to do it later. However, this tends to waste valuable time that can be spent on the task itself. According to Psychology Today, a psychology magazine, a common reason students procrastinate is fear of the task like a long essay or project.

There are ways to overcome procrastination, such as forgiving any past occurrences of postponing. A study published by Timothy Pychyl and Michael J. Wohl found that university students who forgave themselves for procrastinating on their first exam did better on their second exam. This helped them with procrastination in the future, says ScienceDirect.

Phones, social media and people prevent the worker from starting or completing the task. By removing distractions, the student can start on their assignment and complete it quicker without losing focus.

“Try not to go on your phone,” freshman Samirah Crawford said. “Once you get on your phone, it’s really hard to get off. You start looking at a bunch of stuff and that leads to looking at other stuff and you’re there for hours. Before you know it it’s been two hours and it’s time to go to bed.”

If the student has a lot of work to do, dividing it into smaller pieces helps them feel less overwhelmed, says Psychology Today. For example, start the introduction of a paper instead of completing it all in one night. The work load will seem less overwhelming by using this method.

Adding a reward for good work helps defeat procrastination, according to Very Well Mind, a mental health website. For example, for every task completed, the student may watch 10 minutes of television or check their phone for five minutes. By doing this, it will be easier to maintain motivation throughout the work.