Putting off an assignment or struggling to concentrate on a heavy course? Students at the University of Maryland may have some tips to help with procrastination.
Procrastination is the act of avoiding a task or activity an individual needs to complete in a timely manner.
Procrastination can stem from various factors, such as a heavy academic workload or lack of inspiration.
When a person does not feel motivated to complete a task, this lack of motivation can lead to delayed completion, according to Verywell Mind.
Academics also play a big factor in procrastination. Students tend to underestimate how much time they need to dedicate to specific assignments, which disrupts an individual's daily routine, according to Verywell Mind.
Sophomore communications major Layla Shuman finds it helpful to avoid procrastination by visually organizing her daily tasks.
“I plan out the work that I have to do in my Google calendar. I also write out a list of things that I have to do every morning, so I make sure to get it done,” Shuman said.
Deciding how to allocate time for a daily schedule can be difficult, but graduate teaching assistant and Ph.D. student Jess Staggs has a solution.
“This semester, which I recommend all students do, I have been tracking the exact hours that I spend doing schoolwork, and that's helped me to make specific time pockets more productive and have a better work ethic,” Staggs said.
Staggs balances a busy workload. She is an environmental anthropologist who completes outside course-related research, balances a dissertation, maintains two research projects and works 20 hours as a graduate TA.
“I am a workhorse. One way I combat procrastination is by taking on more work because I have been in places where I have had only 15 hours a week of work to do, and when I only have 15 hours a week to do, I find it really difficult to be motivated.”
Decision-making significantly impacts procrastination. If an individual can not decide on a choice when trying to accomplish specific tasks throughout the day, it can cause the individual to avoid being productive. Having a heavy workload can be beneficial to some because they do not have as much time and the larger amount of work they have to complete forces them to act as opposed to lingering in decision-making.
Time management is a big help when eliminating procrastination for sophomore public policy major Amanda Eason.
“I deal with procrastination by making sure that I do my assignments ahead of time in order to get them completed by their deadline. I find the closer I wait to the deadline, the more anxious I feel about completing the assignment,” Eason said.
Distractions and planning ahead are the biggest help for Eason. She believes that scheduling work time in advance is the primary way to avoid delaying tasks.
“When I’m trying to combat procrastination, I try to get rid of all distractions in my life and just focus on what needs to get done,” Eason said.
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