Between 80 and 95 percent of students procrastinate. (And that’s coming from the American Psychological Association, not Wikipedia or your favorite meme-generating, listicle-producing website, so maybe the group knows what it’s talking about.).
But the reason is beyond the simple fact that there are more interesting things vying for our time, like determining our Hogwarts house once and for all (ahem, I’m a total Ravenclaw) or finding the actual cutest puppy photo of all time (by the way, it’s these).
Students procrastinate because they’re doubtful about their ability or, on the other side of the spectrum, worried that success will increase others’ expectations of them.
So first off: Rest assured, it’s not just you. Princeton University has even studied how to fix it. So the next time a major paper is due or a big exam looms, here are some tips to keep yourself from killing time on Facebook or Pinterest.
- AWARENESS. It’s the first step of so much, isn’t it? You can’t be expected to stop procrastination if you don’t know WHY you do it. So pause for a sec for some procrastinational soul-searching.
- Time-management techniques that WORK. A giant to-do list? Talk about intimidating. Scheduling every single minute of your day? Yikes, that’s a list just begging to be ignored. Instead, create a SHORT to-do list. Break down the giant tasks. Be flexible to yourself, and be sure to give yourself reward time once you succeed.
- Stay motivated. It’s easy not to care when you’re passive in class or about your school work, and no one gets excited about work when she doesn’t understand the topic at hand. To stay motivated, make an extra effort to understand what your prof is talking about–don’t just memorize dates and events, but find the interesting-to-you nugget.
Students, how do you stay focused and keep from procrastinating? Teachers, how do you help your students stay on track?