by Keisiah Dawn Tiaoson | March 12, 2023
Today’s academic demands are high, especially considering that the Midterms Examinations are coming. A lot of reading must be done, a lot of papers to be submitted, and not to mention the balance sheets and laboratory reports to cram. These are all overwhelming things, but a pause is a must. However, how long must this pause be? Is doing all the backlogs during the last minute good for your brain to function well? Or a punishment you give to yourself?
Procrastination seems to be one of today’s trends. According to a number of interviewed BS Chemistry students from Silliman University, Aliah Desabille and Katrinka Aguilar among others, feel like they are more productive when the last minute comes. A lot of interviewees including Kawthar and Angel Lachica, also claim that they can work well under time pressure, yet they find it hard to answer whether or not they are satisfied with their outputs.
It is quite seen that one common ground of this practice is the idea of time being a work motivator. They also claim that time pressure makes their brain work better, thus enabling them to finish the task just in time. Other than the claim that they work well under time pressure, they also said that sometimes they lack the confidence to start the task and they feel like they do not know where to actually start. The lack of self-esteem, according to them, has a direct correlation with procrastination.
Lastly, one of the most mentioned causes is the lack of “bebe time”, pictured to be something about having an intimate partner to share struggles and triumphs with, which according to them, is supposed to make them do well in academic aspects. Such “bebe time” would contribute to their sources of motivation and inspiration, thus pushing them to their optimum potential.
However, the interviewees admitted that passing the requirement or finishing the task is not the goal. Producing quality output is. According to the same group of interviewed students, 8 out of 10 said that their output could be better if they have had enough time doing it. Additionally, 2 out of 10 said that their outputs were actually better than expected yet it cost them to work overnight.
Procrastination may work sometimes, but it must not be romanticized. According to studies conducted by Pieters from 2017 to 2020, procrastination is found to be positively related to stress. Therefore, the more an individual procrastinates, the more stress they will encounter.
To produce quality outputs with minimum stress, the following are suggested, most especially now that midterms week is fast approaching:
- Set goals and schedules, and stick to it.
Planning and setting goals are the primary steps to know how much time one would need to study. Make these goals and schedules as specific as possible and make it a commitment to stick to them. Fixing one’s eyes on a specific goal will ignite the drive to get to work.
- Get away from temptations.
Figure out what actually makes you distracted and get away from them. Mute notifications, shut down unnecessary gadgets, say no to Netflix, or stop yourself from kissing your pet every second. Additionally, if you find it difficult to sit down and study when you are aware that household tasks must be completed, take your study material to the local library or an area where you can focus well.
- Allow yourself to produce a draft.
No one can make something perfect on the first try. Allow yourself to make drafts and acknowledge that you need more effort to make better. Focus on getting started rather than aiming for perfection or feeling overwhelmed. Start jotting down notes for your essay or simply read the first page of your textbook.
Procrastination may sound okay, but it actually could do more harm to yourself than good. Overwhelming yourself with things that could weigh less if you just started sooner will not help you in the long run. Instead, these will deprive you from sleep and could cause anxiety. Making better decisions and forming more sustainable habits would be a great place to start.