Ah, procrastination! It is one of our favorite coping mechanisms when we feel overwhelmed or just don’t want to do something. We tell ourselves that we have plenty of time, we will get to it eventually, or of course, the perennial favorite, “I work best under pressure.” These may be true, but it is also true that a number of studies involving college students indicate that procrastination leads to high stress levels, more illness than “average,” and lower grades. Our heads know that procrastination is a poor choice, but we do it anyway because there are so many other activities preferable to the one we’re putting off.
So, how can we beat the procrastination mindset?
Simple – we need to substitute a different mindset that has at its core our own selfish desires. Normally, we don’t associate selfishness with happy outcomes, but in this case, it works. Think about it: what do want for ourselves in the future? We want to be happy, free of stress, able to participate in fun activities without worrying about deadlines and the poor grades that accompany last-minute assignment completion.
How can we make this fantastic future a reality? Convince yourself that it is in your best interest to take action right now! Get it out of the way and enjoy your life! Be selfish and reward yourself in the future by doing one tiny thing to start on whatever project is hanging over you like a big, dark thundercloud. Often, the momentum of starting and the feeling of accomplishment that it brings will keep you rolling, and before you know it, you’re almost finished. Keep doing one tiny thing at a time, all the while telling yourself how relaxed and happy your future self is going to be. The key is to remember that you are rewarding yourself. You’re not punishing yourself or missing out on anything by getting down to business. You’re actually making sure that your future self is happy and successful.
I won’t pretend that I never procrastinate, but I have found that if I think about myself in the future and weigh the pros and cons of starting a project versus putting it off until I’m in a panic, I will usually take that first important step and get started. I encourage you to be selfish and stop procrastinating – your future self will thank you!UMHB strives to not only equip students with an education for life, but also to give every student the experience of a lifetime. We invite you to check out our website for more information, or stop by for a visit to see why UMHB would be a great fit for you!