“I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Procrastination can be difficult; add a dash of spring fever and it becomes a considerable problem for many, especially students this time of year. Some refer to it as “Senioritis,” described by the Urban Dictionary as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation.”
I found this definition quite humorous until I began to realize, having been through this with a high school senior of my own, how true it really is. I’m sure I probably reacted the same way back in my day. After all, the weather’s warming, the days are longer, and anticipation of summer is rising rapidly. Couple this with nearing the end of a long journey, and it’s easy to see how one lets up at the finish line, when in reality they should be sprinting to the tape.
Of course, if senioritis isn’t managed properly, the cure may not be reached, at least not in the expected timeframe, that is. There is good news, however, and it comes in the form of a tip commonly used by sufferers of procrastination. A tip that very well may get your student through this time favorably, and successfully reach the cure of a project or job completion and yes, even graduation.
This procrastination, or reluctance to take care of the things you need to take care of in a timely manner, isn’t something that goes away after you receive your diploma. On the contrary, as responsibilities grow, it can become even more of a problem as you get older. Prioritizing duties evolves into an even bigger challenge, as others in your life consider their portion of your time to be the most important part.
It’s not just in satisfying others’ needs that one procrastinates; even our own needs occasionally get pushed back for one reason or another. Cleaning and organizing, maintenance chores, fitness routines, healthy eating, learning a new skill, staying in touch with friends and family, are all examples of things that lend themselves to procrastinating. It doesn’t have to be this way, if you learn a valuable trick to overcoming this dreaded deterrent to your success. Passing this along to your son or daughter during this time might just be the solution they need. So what is this valuable advice, you ask?
It involves something I learned a while back that was probably the most helpful advice I’d heard relating to this topic. In straightforward terms, it said the easiest way to overcome procrastination is simply to get started. Meaning, you don’t have to finish your project in a day, or even make significant progress, for that matter—you simply need to just get started, and take the first step. That first step leads to another, then another, and before you know it you’re checking it off your To Do list. A common phenomenon occurs when you take this approach. You’ll find that once you get to a certain point in the process you’ll begin to see results and the end in sight. This motivational factor propels you to reach the finish line. And it really does work. More often than not, I’ve found projects that I put off, thinking they would take too long to complete, which, when once attempted, took far less time than I imagined. Tasks which I originally thought would take hours ended up taking half the time (especially if help was involved.)
It sounds a little over-simplified, I know. But what do you have to lose? Remember you’re not tackling the whole project at once; one small step is all it takes to get started. So it takes a little longer, as long as you get the job completed in the end, that’s all that matters. Of course, you have to alter this slightly when, in the case of a student, a deadline is involved. Yet the principle is still the same.
In reality, we all know time is our most valuable commodity. So why not make the best of it? Remedy those things in life, no matter how long it takes, that bog you down and limit your ability to enjoy other parts of your life. For students, the efforts lead to the reward of good grades and graduation. For the rest of us, it leads to more time for the things we value most, including peace of mind.