Tuesday, September 3, 2013

(Avoiding) Procrastination

     As the school year starts up again, I thought it would be important to talk about a topic all of us can relate to... Procrastination. While procrastination might not seem like a "serious" teen problem, it is something which affects us all from time to time. Especially in the summer, we naturally want to do anything but work. However, some laziness is permitted in the summer; during the school year, procrastination and being distracted can be an issue. Undone work can pile up, forcing you to do a lot of work the night before something is due, and lose sleep. Losing sleep decreases focus, opening the door for further procrastination. So how does one avoid procrastination?
    The best way to avoid procrastination is to box your time - tell yourself when and how long you will work, and then work during those times. If you successfully work, distraction-free, during that time, then reward yourself afterwards. Another thing you can do is listen to music while working. While it may seem counterintuitive to distract yourself in order to focus, I find that it appeases the, "this is boring let's do something else," part of my brain, and allows the rest to focus. Listening to music you like makes a boring task more approachable, or an interesting task more so.

However, sometimes procrastination is unavoidable. Every once in a while, you just need to push the work you have aside and do something else. That's okay, but consider what else you're doing. Instead of playing a video game or going on a joke website, go on YouTube and look up the topic you are supposed to be reading about and make it more interesting. I'm sure you can find all kinds of crazy people making YouTube videos about Hamlet or watching a fruit fly life cycle in fast motion. Worst case scenario - you have gained more knowledge about the world or watched something pretty entertaining, simply by sitting in your chair.

     If you want to do something other than work or want to talk about anything, Teen Link is an anonymous, non-judgmental, teen helpline available 6-10 pm every night. The number is 1-866-TEENLINK (833-6546). There is also a chat line open from Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, which you can get to by going to the website and clicking on the chat icon in the bottom right hand corner.

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