Out with procrastination, in with productivity

Ending my procrastination habit has changed my life.


by Reagan Penn, Writer

Just ten more minutes, I’ll start my homework in ten minutes.

Ten minutes turns into an hour, an hour turns into two, and all of a sudden it’s 9:00 and I have yet to start my homework. Day after day this was not only my routine, but also a routine many high school students share. However, recently, I have made an attempt to spend less time procrastinating and more time doing homework, spending time with my family, reading for pleasure and best of all sleeping.

This past year, I became more aware of the amount of time I spent procrastinating. I wanted to make a change, but I kept procrastinating ending procrastination. I would spend hours scrolling through social media, looking at the same post multiple times, watching really random YouTube videos, watching Netflix and turning off my WiFi to play the dinosaur game on Google.

I was waiting until 8:30-9:00 to start my three to five hours of homework, and by then I was already so exhausted that I just wanted to go to bed. As a result, I was rushing through my assignments at home, and telling myself I would just finish the next two things during activity or a free. However, my time prediction skills are not very good, and I was under estimating the time it would take me to finish something. This caused me to rush through those assignments as well.

I would then wake up later than I was supposed to in the morning and would rush out the door, just moments after seeing my parents for the first time that day. My focus in class was sometimes on working on another classes assignment from the previous night instead of the material that was being instructed, ultimately affecting my grades.

When Lent was approaching, I was procrastinating deciding what I would do. Knowing that procrastination was an issue, I took the leap to give up procrastination for Lent. My friend and I decided to do it together, and keep each other accountable for making sure all of our work is completed in a timely manner.

However, I am still able to find loopholes. I decided that if I’m not working on homework immediately, I need to be doing something productive, whether that’s going to the gym or getting my car washed. If something will truly benefit me, I allow myself to do that before homework.

The first day of not procrastinating was eye opening. I came home from school, gave myself 30 minutes to do whatever I wanted, and then I turned my phone on airplane mode. I then sat down to do my homework, giving myself 15 or 20 minute breaks after every hour-hour and a half. I was done with all my homework by 8:45, the time I would normally begin my homework.

With all the extra time on my hands, I am able to read, something I love to do. I make my lunch for the next day the previous night, so I don’t have to worry about it the next morning, and I am able to be in bed by 10:30. I wake up the next morning without having to worry about making my lunch, or when I was going to finish an assignment.

I follow the same routine every day after school. 3:30 to 4:00 is my time to do whatever I want to do. It often involves a snack and a little bit of Netflix. At 4:00 I turn my phone onto airplane mode, so I am unable to receive any notifications and to ease the Netflix temptations. I start my homework at about 4:00, and work anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half before taking a 15 minute break. Most of the time, I am finished with my homework between 8:45 and 9:30 and have thoroughly completed my assignments.

Now that I no longer rush through assignments, I know what is actually happening in class, and feel prepared for tests and discussions. I get more sleep at night, which makes it easier to wake up in the morning, and am happier overall as a result. I come to school less stressed and overwhelmed about how I am going to cram an assignment in before class. Even though I kept procrastinating this new way of spending my time, it has made such a positive impact on my life.