Monday, January 6, 2014

Procrastination.... the epidemic of "i'll do it tomorrow"

As second semester approaches and many of us are preparing to go back to school, now would be a good time to cover the modern day epidemic of procrastination. Procrastination is the human method of avoidance: to procrastinate is to do whatever you can and as much as possible to prevent you from doing work that eventually has to be completed. Procrastination comes in many forms, but the majority of humans today use the internet as their main form of delay. For me, procrastination consists of browsing Facebook and Twitter, posting on Tumblr, taking photos, drawing, reading, laying on the floor, eating, and blogging.

The Procrastination Cycle by chibird

Unfortunately, the only cure for procrastination is yourself. You just have to focus (…I know, it’s a really hard concept, but eventually, you’ll just have to put everything else aside and do whatever it is you need to do.).
 Keeping one’s focus is like building muscle—you have to practice and try to improve your concentration. That said, you also don’t want to overdo it (it’s just like strength building, so don’t push yourself too hard at first).

So how can you begin your new focusing regime?
  1. Turn off the internet. That’ll work, right?  Right. So when I’m writing a paper, and I need to cite a few internet sources or look up a definition, I have a slight problem. So, don’t turn your internet off—just be sure and try your hardest to stay away from distracting sites and social networks.
  2. Work in increments: keep your focus for twenty minutes or so, then take a five or ten minute break. Use a timer to keep yourself on schedule. Grab a healthy snack and fill up a bottle of water to help keep your focus for the next twenty minute increment.
  3. Some studies have shown that listening to calm and relaxing music can be beneficial to studying and working for longer periods of time.
  4. Work in a quiet, comfortable area. I work on my bed and at my desk; both of which are very comfortable for me.
  5. Move around. Other studies have shown that movement can be particularly beneficial to studying and working. I don’t like to walk around while I work, but I’m quite fidgety at times, so spinning chairs work best for me.  That being said, I do know some people who run on a treadmill while they read or study for a math test and that seems to work perfectly for them.
Find your own methods and focusing tactics to make 2014 the best and most productive year yet!

If you need some help staying focused or want to get all of the stuff in your mind out so you can concentrate on what you need to do, Teen Link is always a great place to vent or just talk it out. Teen Link is an anonymous, confidential phone line for young people that is answered by other young people. You can call Teen Link by dialing 1(866)833-6546 or chat on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday by visiting the website Teen Link is open from 6-10pm every night.

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