It’s that time of the year again when even the most seemingly hurricane-torn room magically rights itself and the smallest requests made by a parent, neighbour or even the staunchest nemesis is met with an eagerly helpful attitude.
Anything to get away from the impossibly lofty stack of books and notes, right? Every time you think the most pressing matter at hand is to hover around your father and help him wash the car, or to make a detailed time table to help you tackle the syllabus when you eventually start studying rather than actually studying, you are engaging in what is called procrastination, the bane of any student’s life!
Procrastination is what you are guilty of when you utilise the time you have to complete tasks of low priority in place of high priority tasks or immediate deadlines. We put off working on certain things for a variety of reasons: the tasks in question can be so boring that they induce a state mimicking brain death, or so difficult that you may not feel like you have all the resources to work on it at the moment. There could be reasons for procrastination which lie within us too such as when we get overwhelmed by the task itself because it is too important. Disorganised individuals, who have not arranged the tasks at hand into an order of importance and immediacy, tend to procrastinate as they may not know where to begin.
Many times just as you are about to begin work, has it so happened that your parents reprimand you for not having started yet? As a result of the scolding you received when you were actually getting down to business, you may think, “You can’t make me study! Shout all you want, I am going to turn a deaf ear!” This is another contributor to procrastination: rebellion!
Fear of failure is a large cause of procrastination. A student may feel that no matter how much effort he puts into studying, he will end up forgetting or making a mistake in the exam and thus ends up putting off preparation. Some students, on the other hand, may feel that if they succeed in this exam, pressure on them to perform well in all subsequent exams will increase and hence put off studying! One other very important reason can be ill adjustment in school.
When a student feels like he doesn’t belong in his peer group or doesn’t like going to school, his motivation to work in a timely manner will be low. Likewise, little or no interest in a particular subject leads to a student engaging in any task but homework pertaining to that particular subject.
There are ways to overcome procrastination and one of them is to quite simply visualise in your mind the unpleasant consequences of putting off preparations to the last minute. It is such a cumbersome experience to cram late into the night. There are better ways to witness the sunrise than while staring at your textbook with loathing and fear! Simply imagine yourself completing revision at a reasonable time and enjoying your bedtime by unwinding to some music after a hard day of work and getting a good sleep.
Please remember that sleep helps in retention of memory! It helps strengthen and consolidate the facts and concepts that you have learnt through the day.
Prioritise your workload by putting your tasks down on paper and ticking them off as you complete them. Remember to reward yourself with a little downtime after each task: a small, healthy snack is a great pick-me-up, as well as one great song or a small conversation! Having a studious friend’s support to complete work on time can be helpful.
Minimise all distractions, believe in your capability to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done without anybody’s interference and dictates. All the very best, everyone!