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Procrastinat… Ah I’ll Do it Later

Throughout high school and maybe on through college, every student knows what it feels like. The menace to all large projects and necessary busy work. Dubbed senioritis and rampant throughout the senior class. Procrastination is a debilitating disease we all suffer through.

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Procrastinat… Ah I’ll Do it Later

CHILLIN' OUT A little time to yourself is always good, just take it in moderation.

CHILLIN' OUT A little time to yourself is always good, just take it in moderation.

CHILLIN' OUT A little time to yourself is always good, just take it in moderation.

CHILLIN' OUT A little time to yourself is always good, just take it in moderation.

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These last few months of school are particularly filled with the stench of passing deadlines and listless students. Finals and research papers gathering dust in their minds. The light of summer vacation just beyond reach. So how do we not fall victim? How do we pull through and not get cut by the two-sided sword of procrastination? Well, some don’t. There will always be those lost to the hounds of overwhelming deadlines.

One late assignment. That’s always how it starts. A crack in the dam. A couple more lazy days later and you are a mess of piling work and a dry well of time. And who suffers? Who becomes the ultimate casualty in this infectious negligence? Grades. The ones that matter. The great deciding factor in high school careers all fall down a slippery slope to shameful feelings, disappointed parents, and a D in pottery.

Not all fall victim, however. Those select few who know the tricks of the trade prosper in such debilitating conditions, taking procrastination as a joke, an integral part of life – and an avoidable one.

Rodrigo Tojo Garcia is among the most academic-achieving students in the school. Along with being one of the top-ranked students in the senior class, he finds time for several extracurriculars, including knowledge bowl, track, and robotics. Finding himself at the top of his class naturally makes being a role model and a leader to his peers a vital part of his image. Establishing this image in the community, Tojo holds the vice presidential position in our local chapter of the National Honor Society.

In particular, I think I was raised to value education”

— Rodrigo Tojo Garcia

However determined Tojo might look to be, his accolades were not simply achieved through pure force of will. Tojo credits his many achievements to others who influenced his life including his parents and friends. When referring to his parents he had this to say about their involvement, “In particular, I think I was raised to value education, which also led to me enjoying learning for its own sake, which is very valuable when the material being learned is not, shall we say, the most engaging.” Surely blessed with committed parents, Tojo is equally committed. However, Tojo’s attitude towards school doesn’t just stem from his parents. “I maintain a healthy level of academic competition with my friends that motivates me to be as good as or better than them in school.” Encased in a positive attitude of effort and participation goes a long way towards success for Tojo. Even with such a productive sphere of influence, the gravity of procrastination has drowned many in the same situation. So where did they go wrong?

Some of the most common types of procrastination are fear-based, stemming from the apprehensiveness one feels about his or her work. One may feel they need a perfect essay to turn it in or are worried about what everyone else might think of his or her work, to name two forms of fear-based procrastination.

Another type of procrastination comes from the underestimation of a greater hurdle than one might perceive. The thought process being, “Oh I don’t need to try in this class because it’s simple, I’ve learned all this before.” When it comes to almost any real class, however, the need to try is almost constant. The last common form of procrastination that many in the school system suffer from is the low tolerance for busy work or unpleasant tasks. This type of procrastination is the bane of chores existence. Don’t want to do the dishes because it sucks? Your mom will do it eventually, leave it for her.

All of these habits are purely a human creation and that almost certainly means they can be rid of. No fix is absolute and none are in any way foolproof, but these ten habits could severely reduce the symptoms of senioritis:

1. Give up Perfectionism – Not everyone is perfect, you don’t need to be either.
2. Trick Yourself – Tell yourself that you’ll only look at it and most of the time that’ll lead you into working on it.
3. Be Realistic – Do as much work as you can or want, then plan on finishing it later.
4. Divide and Conquer – Make the work more manageable by splitting it up into parts you can finish in 15-30 minutes of hard work.
5. Announce it Publicly – If you tell someone, you’re more likely to do it as to not disappoint them.
6. Just Do It – What are you waiting for? The quicker you start, the less you think, the more you get done.
7. Envision Completion – What happens when you’re done? How good will you feel?
8. Don’t Avoid the Difficult Tasks – Do the sucky tasks first so the easy and more enjoyable tasks become a reward.
9. Prioritize – What needs to get done first? Make a list and feel good when you cross it all off.
10. Reward not Procrastinating – Give yourself a little something for doing well. Just make sure its appropriate, personal, and physical

The reality is, everyone procrastinates. Tojo even admits his reality with procrastination by saying, “To be honest, I don’t think that procrastination is something that no one ever truly overcomes.” When it comes to how Tojo takes on his rare negligence of homework he had this to say, “I find that thinking about the importance of my schoolwork is enough to get me moving toward completing a goal, regardless of how much I may dislike it.” However well Tojo’s methods work for him, it is apparent that they are not a universal fix. So to those who are struggling with procrastination, Tojo says, “Firstly, I would advise that people keep their phones far away, maybe in a different room. Beyond that, I would suggest working for half an hour at a time and taking 5-minute breaks between each round of work and realizing that regardless of what sounds fun at the moment, the importance of schoolwork cannot be overstated.”

Isaac Wilfahrt, Contributor

My name is Isaac Wilfahrt and I'm a senior at New Ulm Public High School. My particular interests include writing, gaming, and sleeping. Most of my free...

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