Dear LA Teacher,
I’m a sophomore at Reseda High School. Over the Christmas break I have to write a paper for American History, complete ten pages of Geometry homework, and write a five-page essay for English. My problem is that I’ve been putting off doing my homework. I tell myself, “Self, start tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes, so do phone calls from friends to go to a movie, play video games, or shoot some hoops. What do I need to do to stop procrastinating?
Dear #1 Procrastinator,
You’re not alone. Millions of students are having the same problem. To solve your dilemma, let’s dissect the issue to see what we reveal and then come up with a workable solution.
Psychologists point out that people procrastinate to cope with their emotions. They might have a fear of failing, afraid of success, perhaps they’re angry or rebellious, or in your case, lazy. To avoid the emotions the work might catalyze, they procrastinate. Their fears trigger an impulse to delay action. So they tell themselves, “Go to the movie with Joe. I’ll write the essay tomorrow.” Tomorrow comes and they have another excuse. Before they know it, Sunday January 6, 2013 peeks its ugly head and little work has been completed. They spend all day doing homework and then turn in sub-quality work when they go back to school January 7th.
Here’s my suggestion. Make a To-Be-Done List. This will be your daily list of things you’ll need to do between now and your first day back to school. Give yourself 2-3 hours every day to work on school related tasks. If you are a morning person, do it first thing in the A.M. Work for an hour, and then give yourself a ten-minute break.
Remember, any assignment you do can seem daunting. However, when you break it up into manageable tasks, it will get done and the quality of your work will shine through.
Make sure you keep your thoughts positive and give yourself a reward upon the completion of every daily assignment. Since you have many friends, make the reward time with them, but don’t schedule fun time until your planned study session has been accomplished.
With a positive outlook, a plan, and rewards to motivate you to meet your goals you should be able to overcome the procrastination bug.
Happy New Year,