Staff Writer: Savannah Phillips
Hey there Savannah,
I have a question for you. I know many of us students are struggling with procrastination and deadlines. How should I best manage these deadlines and make sure I don’t over-stress myself but still complete the assignments?
Hey Rachel! Thanks for reaching out and being the first to participate!
If I’m being completely honest with you, I struggle with procrastination myself. I know how challenging it can be to almost make yourself start an assignment or finish that essay. Believe me, I’ve been there… and the amount of stress was nearly breaking me down.
But a couple of weeks ago, I kind of had a “eureka” moment! I realized that I was so stressed and overwhelmed because I was waiting until the last minute to do work- in all honesty, the workload itself wasn’t that bad. It was time management that threw me off course. I wasn’t utilizing time between classes or after classes. When the afternoon came and I wanted to chill, I still had a massive amount of work to do. I felt like I couldn’t keep my head above water! I knew I had to start somewhere, or I would continue to fall down a never-ending rabbit hole.
So, I decided that I was going to jump in with both feet the upcoming week… and I had to fight every urge in my body the whole week! It almost felt like my mind was at tug-or-war with itself. And it was messy. It definitely didn’t go smoothly. But one night that week I found myself relaxing as the sun set, instead of panicking as I desperately tried to finish the assignment by the deadline. And it felt so good.
Have I completely eradicated my procrastination problems? Nope. And that’s okay. Don’t expect to make a change and it goes perfectly and it’s all better. You’re still going to mess up- have an off day where you procrastinated too much. But that’s when you get up the next day and try again. Don’t be too hard on yourself, be gentle with yourself.
The important thing is that you realize the problem and you’re doing something about it. I suggest utilizing time between classes to do work. But when you start feeling burnt out, take a break. Get Starbucks or walk to another study location across campus. Breathe. I’m still working on this one…but I’m trying to start doing overwhelming assignments a little at a time. Like today I’m going to try to find at least 3 sources for my English class. That alone makes me want to procrastinate, because it gives me anxiety and it’s time consuming. But I know it’ll help me tomorrow if I have half of them already. Take it a day at a time. Focus on today. Don’t try to get ahead if you have enough due today.
Something else that has helped me is my planner. I tried to do all my assignments by memory at the beginning- and let’s just say that doesn’t do the trick. Seeing my week planned out on paper really helps me get some perspective.
But overall, college is an adjustment. What works for me may not work for you. You know yourself better than anyone, so try different techniques until you have your “eureka” moment! You’re not supposed to have everything figured out; you’re learning. We all are. What matters is how we respond to issues that arise and how we take action! If no one has told you, I’m proud of you! You’ve got this!