Why we procrastinate and how to stop


Azalia Ramirez, Staff Writer

As much as we would like to think otherwise, the fact of the matter is that we all procrastinate. Sometimes it’s mundane things like checking off chores from your list or starting a new hobby, but often it’s the bigger things like school or work assignments.

Of course there is always the excuse which differs from subject to subject but stays relatively the same. Today just isn’t the right time. Too busy. Too broke. Too stressed. Too inexperienced. Too old. Too young. And on occasion these excuses are valid, but more often that they are just excuses that we make because we would rather be doing other things.

And this is where people get confused. It is often believed to be laziness that causes procrastination. This is sometimes true but it can also be caused by fear or just the lack of willingness to get the task done.

Some strategies to help end procrastination

Write down the tasks you need to complete and give yourself a fixed deadline. A goal without a fixed deadline can be put off forever. Giving yourself a deadline ensures that the task stays on your mind. And make sure the deadline is solid. DO NOT PUSH IT OFF otherwise, the cycle will only continue.

Break your goal into small pieces. Depending on how big your goal is, it can seem a bit overwhelming. So if your goal feels intimidating at first, try breaking it into smaller tasks. This way it seems more attainable and you feel like you accomplished a lot more in the end. 

Reward progress. Set up a reward system to ensure you celebrate progress as you go along. Whether it’s a fun activity with friends or maybe even a treat for yourself, make it something that you feel you deserve after putting in so much time and effort. For example, allow yourself one episode of your favourite television series after each completed task.

Build accountability.  Enlist someone to be an accountability partner to help keep you focused and on track. Make them aware of your tasks and they’ll check on you to make sure you are doing what you need to be doing. I find that sometimes I still get distracted by electronics so I combine this step with the following.

Turn your devices into study tools. The very things that seem to be working against you can be your best ally when it comes to academic help. I use apps like Brainly and Photomath to help me with homework problems I need help understanding. These sites will not only provide you with the answers to your problems but will also show you how to solve them on your own. I have also grown fond of an app called Forest: Stay Focused. This app restricts any distracting apps on your device for a set amount of time so that you can study and if you go the whole time without stopping, your virtual forest grows. After a while, it becomes satisfying to see all of the time you’ve spent studying into something you can see and be proud of. And for a small payment of $1.99 your forest can become real. The company teamed up with Trees for the Future. They use the money made from the app to plant real trees all over the world. As of right now, they have 14 projects in 5 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and they are working on reaching more areas.