“Still Procrastinating?”

Still Procrastinating?

Sydney Rodriguez, Vice President, Staff Writer

It’s a Tuesday night and the clock just hit five minutes to midnight. As you’re frantically trying to wrap up your essay before the 11:59pm deadline, you’re internally yelling at yourself for not starting any sooner. A wave of regret then begins to flood your mind and you start to realize that maybe that two hour Netflix break wasn’t worth it after all. Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, we’re in the same boat. Whether it’s saving my assignments until right before the deadline or putting a hold on cleaning my room until I can’t even see the floor anymore, I will almost always wait until the very last minute to do things. I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has definitely brought me to peak procrastination. Though I’ve been wanting to break this habit for years on end, it hasn’t been the easiest thing to do. However, in all honesty, I haven’t been making the biggest effort to break it either. I know what some of you may be thinking, as a junior with a heavy workload, procrastination is definitely not something that I should be giving into. And I think that you’re right. I think it’s time I say that enough is enough. I’m sorry procrastination, but we’re over. 

The first step to fixing any problem is finding the root of it. If I’m being honest, I think that one of the major reasons why I keep  tolerating procrastination is because no matter how last minute I wait, I get the task done. I mean, as long as it’s done in time, it’s all good, right? Wrong. Sure, I may be getting the job done in the end, but my work does not get any better by delaying it. In fact, it’s simply just suffering because of it. Just think about it, if I wait until the last minute to finish an assignment, I’m merely only focusing on rushing and submitting it before the deadline rather than absorbing the material as efficiently and thoroughly as I should. Not to mention that the frustration, guilt, stress, and anxiety that comes with procrastination isn’t doing me any justice either. You may be thinking, if procrastination only does more harm than good, why not make more of an effort to stop it? You see, it’s not that simple. As aware as I am of how detrimental it is for not just my schoolwork, but my overall mental health, I can’t just simply stop doing it. Trust me, if it were that easy, I would have stopped a long time ago. However, while habits are never easy to break, I think that with much determination and effort, there’s no doubt that it will happen.

So, why do we procrastinate anyways? Procrastination is a complex phenomenon that can be driven by many factors. Some of procrastination’s primary driving factors include high distractions, uninterest, low self-efficacy, and sometimes it could even be linked to neurological disorders like ADHD. However, one thing that many people get procrastination confused with is laziness. Many may think that procrastination is the same as laziness, but in actuality, they’re two totally different things. While procrastination is an active choice you make to ignore your specific tasks, laziness suggests reluctance and apathy. When procrastinating, you usually tend to perform a more favorable and enjoyable task rather than the one that you have to do. Also unlike laziness, you’ll put a task off rather than just giving up and not doing it. Giving into the impulse of procrastination has its consequences, however. Along with the stress and guilt I mentioned before, elongated episodes of procrastination could lead to demotivation, which could potentially lead to depression and anxiety. With such negative effects, you may be wondering what makes it so difficult to stop procrastination. It is often believed that what makes procrastination so hard to quit is the feeling of satisfaction you get from the act of postponement. With a strong desire to defer something unpleasant, you’re more likely to procrastinate. According to a Forbes article entitled “Procrastination: Why It’s So Hard To Break The Habit”, it states how, “[r]esearch shows that in habitual behavior there is a surge of dopamine-related pleasure in the reward system of the brain when an individual even thinks about the habitual act.” So, the next time you feel guilty about procrastinating, remember that it is more common than you think! Here are some tips on how to overcome procrastination. 


One of the most important steps in overcoming procrastination is to simply just recognize that you are procrastinating. If you’re unaware of this habit, there is no way that you would be able to seek improvement. Some examples of events that could contribute to procrastination include filling your day with low-priority tasks, having an “I’ll do it later” mentality, filling your time with more unimportant tasks to do instead, waiting to be in the “right mood” or for it to be the “right time” to complete a task, and many more. Once you have pinpointed the problem, you are able to come up with a valid solution.


Poor organization can be linked to procrastination in some ways. While organized people can procrastinate too, making an active choice to stay organized will allow you to be more motivated to stay on top of your tasks and more inclined to get them out of the way. You could make to-do lists, use a planner/agenda, or make effective daily schedules to help you organize your tasks by priority and deadline.  

Commit to your task

Put all distractions aside! Shut off the TV, put your phone on silent, and find a quiet area to do your work! Being distracted is a primary driving force of procrastination, so putting away distractions will help you stay focused and commit to your task. Remember to focus on doing something rather than avoiding it!

Reward yourself

Another driving force of procrastination is uninterest. I know for me personally, I am usually more unmotivated and tend to delay the things that are not interesting to me. However, setting a reward for yourself upon completing a task may be able to give you a sense of motivation that you are lacking. For example, you could reward yourself with a treat, watching an episode of your favorite show, or just anything that you enjoy if time allows. 

Goal setting

Goal setting has been one of the most effective methods of overcoming procrastination for me personally.  I usually like to set time-bound goals for my daily tasks. For example, if I get a paper assigned to me on Monday that is due Wednesday night, I would make goals to spread it out in the course of multiple days. I would dedicate a specific amount of time for it each night in order to prevent cramming it the night that it’s due. While I must admit that this isn’t the case every time because I am still in the process of breaking my procrastination habit, it has been very beneficial to me every time that I have used this method! 

Forgive yourself!

I believe that forgiving yourself is the most important step in overcoming procrastination. Personally, procrastination has led me to be consumed with much guilt in the past. I always felt guilty for wasting my time and felt like I would never be able to catch up with everyone else because I wasn’t being as productive as them. However, I have figured out that learning to accept that you’re not alone and self-forgiveness overall can help you reduce the likelihood of procrastination. 

Basically, counteracting the driving forces of procrastination are key factors in overcoming it. Do you have any other tips on how to overcome procrastination? Comment below!