Time seems to move faster as the infamous 11:59 p.m. online deadline approaches. The heart rate speeds up, beating in time with the seconds on the clock as pressure mounts. Sweat begins to drip and tears pierce the eyes, physical responses triggered by overwhelming anxiety and frustration.
It is a race against the clock as one frantically pounds at the keyboard, scrambling to turn in his or her assigned material — a race that some students are all too familiar with.
Deadlines are an inevitable part of life, especially in the academic and professional world. Putting off work until crunch time is an easy routine to slip into as numerous responsibilities and distractions pile up throughout each day.
The natural response to tackling an unpleasant task is to put it off. During college when entertainment and social activities are in abundance, one can easily spend time engaging in activities they find relaxing and enjoyable to avoid the stress of school work.
“I procrastinate because there are other things I’d rather do,” senior accounting major Tyler Dehority said.
By putting things off, productivity drops.
Often times, procrastination can lead to self-deprecating, blaming this inability to break out of the vicious cycle on one’s own disorganization or laziness.
However, the reasons behind procrastinating vary and may have little to do with one’s capability or organizational skills.
Doctor and therapist Pamela Wiegartz with Psychology Today writes that a fear of failure can often drive procrastination.
“The thought of putting in effort but still failing makes you anxious, so you choose avoiding and procrastinating instead. In this way, when your project fails you can rationalize that it wasn’t a true test of your abilities anyway — if only you’d had more time,” Wiegartz said.
Additionally, some people put things off in order to avoid success, thinking that succeeding would in turn create more responsibilities, leading to more stress.
However, the trap of procrastination is not inescapable. There are solutions to breaking the cycle and avoiding procrastination long term.
“The best way for me to avoid it is to set my distractions to the side and avoid it as best as I can. I’ve been putting my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ at work which I think helps a lot,” Dehority said.
Recognizing where time is being spent is beneficial in order to exert more control over procrastinating. Keeping track of time spent on various apps and overall screen time can be an eye-opening experience as phones are such a large part of a college student’s everyday experience.
Dedicating a set amount of time each day toward daily homework and long-term projects can lead to more productivity, thus allowing more time for enjoyable activities without the stress of time constraints.
Additionally, surrounding oneself with motivated company can lead one to find the inspiration to reach their own personal goals.
“The best thing I’ve found is surrounding yourself with people who don’t procrastinate as much as you do. Trying to live up to them keeps me motivated,” senior journalism major Maddi Loiselle said.
No matter the reasons behind one’s procrastinating tendencies, it is essential to have the confidence in one’s own capabilities, including the ability to manage time.