Due Tomorrow? Do Tomorrow

sam 4By Sam Picazo

Although due dates are usually posted in class syllabi at the start of each semester, some students opt to do their school work at the last minute. Procrastination is common but that doesn’t mean it is the best way to get things done.

According to a report titled “Understanding Procrastination” published by the Academic Skills Center at California Polytechnic State University, “Procrastination is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to some degree or another. With some it can be a minor problem; with others it is a source of considerable stress and anxiety.”

As the semester ends, some students find it difficult to stay on task or ever attend classes.

Brenda Garcia, student at the College of Southern Nevada, said that even though she doesn’t procrastinate often, she tends to do it more towards the end of the term because her drive has diminished. “It’s hard to stay motivated or focused when there’s so much going on.”

The McGraw Center at Princeton University had similar findings to the Cal Poly report in its article “Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination” about mental issues associated with procrastination.

“For the most part our reasons for delaying and avoiding are rooted in fear and anxiety—about doing poorly, of not having control of our outcomes, of looking stupid, of having one’s sense of self or self-concept challenged,” the article stated.

Some students feel that procrastination isn’t always the worst attribute when it comes to completing schoolwork.

CSN student and English major Corrine Utzwada finds working against deadlines positively influence her to work. “It’s not so much a tactic of procrastination, but the love of working down to the wire,” Utzwada said. “For me, my best work develops when I am under pressure. When I try to work with too much leeway time my work always seems a little dull.”

Many people procrastinate, for better or worse, even CSN’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Darren Divine. He said he is a world-class procrastinator. To help himself he organizes his projects with due dates in order to prioritize what needs to get done.

“I usually tell [students] to try getting a calendar and organizing themselves with a schedule and then simply try it for a few weeks,” Divine said. “I find many people are able to be a little bit more efficient and like the results this way. In short, I can’t say anything that will convince them; they have to convince themselves with results.”

It’s important to identify the reasons for procrastination. Is it laziness or a lack of time or a strategy? Regardless, create achievable goals and utilize a calendar with deadlines to stay on target. Big projects usually get done in small chunks so it is important to plan the steps needed to get things completed.

Additionally, seek assistance or support from tutorial services at the College. One-on-one guidance can inspire students to stay motivated throughout the term http://www.csn.edu/pages/1902.asp.

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