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The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Put a pause on the perils of procrastination

Ruby Lain White
The unorganized desk of a teacher

According to studies done by a test preparation company named Magoosh, almost 86% of high school students are susceptible to procrastination.

Researchers that specialize in procrastination such as Alberto Bisin and Kyle Hyndman believe that procrastination is a type of “cognitive bias”, in which an individual chooses smaller, more immediate rewards, compared to larger, more delayed rewards.

Lincoln students are no exception. But many have strategies to get their work done.

“I [commonly] try to set a timer [hoping it will help with motivation]”, Says sophomore Finn Usher, “it usually has a 70% success rate for me.”

Because procrastination is such a common struggle, students often want to support one another by sharing the best tools and techniques to overcome this.

“[A method I use] to stay organized is using a google calendar or a separate planner, anything that will help me remember to do the work.” Says senior Mya Hinton, “[I have found] that this really helps me.”

According to experts, both of these methods by Usher and Hinton are actually very helpful techniques for those struggling with procrastination.

Researchers suggest the following list of methods that will help students overcome procrastination:


The Pomodoro Technique

 This technique is a strategy in which you set a timer before beginning a task; this creates a sense of urgency. 

  1. Set a timer using a preferred device, preferably around 25-30 minutes. 
  2. Work on selected tasks for the duration of the timer.
  3. When the timer goes off, give yourself a 5-10 minute break.
  4. Restart the timer and continue for three intervals
  5. After the 3rd timer is completed, take a slightly longer break around 20-30 minutes.
  6. Begin the process again until selected tasks are completed.


Breaking large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks

Breaking work down into smaller pieces makes it easier to feel a sense of accomplishment.

  1. Take a minute to look at the assigned work, and identify any smaller components that can serve as a short term goal. 
  2. Establish a timeline for completing each of these tasks.
  3. Begin working through each task, and celebrate each small success when completed.


Practicing Self-Compassion 

Address negative emotions. Sometimes negative emotions or feelings towards yourselves can only make procrastination worse. 

  1. Reflect on any emotions or feelings that relate to the task on hand. For example, “I am unable to complete this project. I cannot do this.”
  2. After identifying the feelings, use facts or rational reasons to disprove them. Such as “I have completed similar projects before. I have done more difficult things, and I know I can complete this.”
  3. If any negative thoughts refuse to go away, continue to reinforce and reframe them through the lens of factual information.  

The next time you are struggling with procrastination, remember these techniques!

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