Tips for Overcoming Procrastination as a High School Student

For most young people, high school is that ugly period between childhood innocence and adult responsibilities. As a result, many students have trouble adapting to the ever increasing demands as they travel their high school years.

The place where procrastination begins to show up the most is on the longer term of projects in high school. Most students encounter their first real look at research papers and large science projects in high school. Days and sometimes weeks can drift by without any perceived penalties for inactivity. All at once, the deadline is only days or hours away. The project or paper will have not have been started.

The research for the paper or assembling the pieces for the project can be daunting on short notice. It is best if parents are involved with these things early so that they can guide their child into setting up a meaningful schedule for completion. However, sometimes students don’t make parents aware of these big assignments until the crunch hour hits. Often, it is too late at that point.
Procrastination also shows up on a daily basis with young people starting homework too late to complete it by bed time.

The solution to both scenarios is the same. Start by establishing a daily list of assignments with due dates. Immediately after school, tomorrow’s homework needs to be completed. For most students who work at a reasonable speed, this will usually be finished within about 2 hours. This should be performed before free time is available except in special cases.

On longer term projects and papers, back up the due date by 2 or 3 days and then divide the time allotted by 4. Determine a reasonable division of the work into fourths. This will tell you when each segment needs to be finished to be on course to an on time completion.

Each day add about 15 minutes to your homework time to work on the project. If you get significantly ahead, you can always slow down. By finishing each segment on schedule, you will complete the entire project a little early. This will let you have time to polish and proofread.

Tests are another area that most students find themselves in trouble to have enough study time. You should set aside about 15 minutes three times per week for reviewing covered material in your classes. This will keep it fresh and prevent the need for intensive last minute cramming. More knowledge is retained from repetition than from cramming.