How to fight second semester procrastination


Abigail Puketza

It's tempting to avoid piles of homework by scrolling on Instagram, which is why writer Abigail Puketza offers her tips to cure procrastination.

A deadly disease has plagued the student body of North Penn High School; they call it procrastination. After getting home from seven grueling hours of worksheets, tests, quizzes, discussions, projects, and packets, who would want to open their backpack and dive into more hours of work? No matter who you talk to, even the most diligent students have fallen prey to procrastination. But why? Why is it so hard for students to buckle down and finish their homework right away? What makes them continue to push off their work until it is dark outside?

Well, most students have 2-6 hours of homework assigned in a single night, assigned work and studying for tests alike. “I’m usually exhausted from school, and I just want a break from all the work I have to do, so I procrastinate all of the ridiculous homework [I have],” explained junior Caitlin Rissmiller.

The last thing people want to do when they get home from school is to do more work, so they “take a break” by napping, watching Netflix, or scrolling on their phone. Phones tend to be a huge time- sucker for high school students. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, or even just texting can be enormous distractions.

Another reason why students push off their homework is because they have other activities after school. Many kids have jobs and extracurriculars, so they will leave the house at seven in the morning and not return until seven that night. They have no choice but to start their homework late, and often they are much too tired to even think about opening their agenda books to see the daunting list of assignments and upcoming tests.

“I start my homework at 8 pm when I do not have work, and at 10:30 pm when I do,” explained Gabe Chidaine. Many students are in the same boat as Gabe and have to balance school, work, clubs, sports, social life, and their sleep schedule.

What is the cure to procrastination? Of course, the ideal strategy for completing homework is to do it right away and not wait until the last moment. But this is not a skill that can easily be learned. A lot of students actually work better under pressure when it comes to writing essays and studying, even though it causes them immense levels of stress.

Well, the cure can be something as simple as making a schedule for work throughout the week. Keeping a detailed planner helps to see an overview of what is due when so that nothing is forgotten.

Another tactic is to set realistic goals for yourself. If you know that you are not very self disciplined, make sure to set smaller goals that are not so far out of your grasp. You want to feel victorious and motivated in your victories, not discouraged to the point where you give up completely.

Also try to limit the amount of distractions around you. If your phone, computer, television, or even your dog or cat tend to make you sidetracked, put them in the other room or remove yourself from the situation.

“I can get distracted by my phone, so I always keep it away from me,” said student Isabella Salvatore. This is what many students do to avoid distraction, because even hearing the vibration of a phone in a desk drawer can interrupt the workflow. Just placing your phone in another room can help six hours of homework turn into only four and maybe even three. If there is a specific day that you are drowning in homework, drive to a local coffee shop and work there. When you go somewhere with a purpose, you will be more motivated to do the work and will not be as tempted to waste valuable time.

A small but effective strategy is to give yourself rewards for when you complete the items on your to-do list. A piece of candy, a YouTube video, ten minutes of playing with your dog, or even a short walk can be used as a reward for your hard work and help you refocus your attention on the next task.

Try any of these things to help you during the second semester; it is never too late to create a healthy routine. Homework points add up, and if you learn how to fight off procrastination, it will help you end the year strong. Overall, avoiding procrastination and being responsible with your workload will help you be less stressed and more at peace throughout the school day. It will help you enjoy and appreciate the process of learning because you will not be fixated on everything you pushed for the last minute.