All Aboard to Procrastination Station!

Lia D.

There’s no denying that at some point, if not many, you’ve procrastinated. You’re sitting with all your books and papers laid out in front of you, ready to get work done…but then you wonder how much of the ocean is still unexplored, thus beginning an endless spiral of YouTube videos.

Procrastinating is a common problem, and according to Psychology Today, approximately 20 percent of people are chronic procrastinators. There are different types of procrastinators, like those who put off due to fear of failure and those who enjoy the thrill of having to rush, but all have in common not using available time to the best of their abilities.

Once procrastinating starts, it’s not easy to stop, and for many middle schoolers procrastination affects not only how well work is done, but also factors like sleep and free time.

Grace C., an eighth grader, said, “I think I have enough time, but I actually don’t, and then I save it for the last minute and don’t really get good work quality.”

Grace not only loses track of time but also consciously waits until the last minute to start working. When she does get down to work, she’s rushing, so her assignments don’t get the best grade they could have.

Along with Grace, Cole D., a seventh grader, knowingly procrastinated until crunch time.

“Recently I’ve had to create two Spanish presentations, and I procrastinated on both. We had a month to do it but I waited until the last night to finish them,” said Cole.

Procrastination is generally due to not wanting to get work done, whether it be boring and tedious or just not being in the right mood.

“Sometimes I’m just too lazy to do my homework,” said Caroline R., a sixth grader.

The root of procrastination for Caroline is simply not having the motivation to do homework.

When students are given an assignment with a due date or an amount of time to study for a test, some start immediately, while others wait until the last moment. Generally, all students feel confident at the beginning of their time frame, but as the deadline approaches, they can start to feel stressed about turning good work in on time.

Seventh grader Cece S. said, “I have an English essay that I’ve had two weeks to do, and I waited until the last day to revise it. I was confident at the beginning since we had a long time.”

Cece, like many others, waited until the last moment to complete her work and began to worry about if she would get it finished on time.

“When the deadline approaches, I feel worried, since I haven’t gotten any work done,” said Cece.

There are many distractions that cause procrastination, from common entertainment, like phones and TV, to doing work that isn’t as crucial as the main material.

Olivia M., an eighth grader, claims Netflix as her main distraction along with working on smaller tasks instead of a large one.

One of the biggest distractions for students are phones, which are able to give endless information and entertainment at the touch of a finger. It’s important to find ways to resist, and some students made a simple solution.

“I put my phone in the other room or I’ll x out a tab on my laptop,” said Olivia.

Along with Olivia, Grace and Christian also put their phones away to get rid of the temptation.

Most students are primarily grade focused, so to stop procrastinating, they come to the realization that they must get back on task.

“I usually procrastinate enough, so I’m like ‘I have to do this or else I will fail,’ so it’s usually a grade thing,” said Grace.

Very Well Mind says some solutions to stop procrastinating are rewarding oneself after completing tasks with would-be distractions, doing the easy or the hard things first, and thinking about the positive points of working.

Procrastinating does come with its repercussions. Many students have to stay up late studying or working on assignments since they didn’t handle their time well earlier in the day.

“When I wake up I’m more tired, and it takes me longer to roll out of bed,” said Sam M., a sixth grader.

A common effect of going to bed late is performing inadequately on assignments the next day.

“I go to bed a lot later, and that means that I’m a lot more tired in the morning so I don’t do as well on tests,” said Olivia.

Another downside is lost free time.

“Personally it’s going to bed late or sacrificing my free time during fruit break or lunch,” said Grace.

Procrastination impacts practically everyone, and it’s important to overcome. Once the work is finished, all nine seasons of The Office can then be watched again!

Photo courtesy of Lia Dotson. Netflix distracts from homework