Overcoming Procrastination

You have a three-page essay, 20 calculus problems, a worksheet on World War I, and a review sheet for Chemistry all due tomorrow. You know you need to get your work done, but the television looks so much more entertaining. We all know the feeling of procrastination setting in at the most inconvenient times, but there are many ways to overcome this high school epidemic.

1. Make your homework into a game. If you have 20 math problems to do but you’d rather listen to music, set a goal of five problems to finish before the song ends. Or, if you need to study, make flashcards and time yourself as you go through them, giving yourself points for each correct answer. Be creative and use winning as motivation!

2. Do homework sprints. Take 10 minutes to work on that essay you really don’t want to write, then take a five-minute break to watch whatever show you’d rather watch. If you’re going to use this method, be sure you take more time to do homework than rest. Also, be careful – this can end up being counterproductive.

3. Make a schedule. If you plan out enough time for each of your homework assignments, you very well may have a few hours at the end of the night to do what you please. By sticking to the schedule, you’ll have more time to relax. Remember, you only prolong your responsibilities with procrastination.

4. Set deadlines for yourself. If deadlines motivate you, then split your homework into sections and set a time each section has to be done by. Perhaps you decide you have to have the first third of your history terms learned by 5 p.m., the introduction of your essay written by 6 p.m., and so on.

5. Do homework while you procrastinate. If you’d rather exercise than read your book for English, incorporate the reading into your workout. For example, you can do planks or pushups as you read. However, be careful with this technique; you don’t want to sway your attention from the homework.

6. Bribe yourself. If your biggest motivation is food, then use it. For example, you can eat a gummy bear every time you finish and comprehend a page of the book you need to read for English. Or you can set aside a scrumptious looking piece of cake for when you finish the entire book.

7. Divide and conquer. Don’t try to do 50 problems all at once; you’ll only frustrate yourself and get bored with the assignment. Instead, split the problems up into sections of two or three and do other assignments between each section.

8. Find what motivates you. Does being rushed motivate you? Or is it sugar? Whatever it is that gets you working, find a creative way to prompt yourself to do homework every night.