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The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as “the action of delaying or postponing something”. This dreaded term is a word teenagers are far too familiar with in this day and age.
Although everyone occasionally falls victim to procrastination, countless individuals struggle to overcome this self-destructive habit which has proven to significantly increase stress levels and, specifically for teenagers, can lead to poor academic performance.
Fortunately, there is a multitude of simple adjustments the average person can make to their regular routine in order to avoid the temptations of procrastination.
The organization is a key component in remaining productive and focused throughout the day, especially when it comes to setting and accomplishing goals. However, it can often be difficult to monitor the completion of such hopes if one does not have a proper system set in place.
Writing down various tasks, whether they be academic assignments or chores, into an agenda booklet, journal or calendar can be an effective way to keep track of what work needs to be done. One may also choose to include the date by which they hope to finish these various tasks. This system can also serve as a great motivator, as there are few things in life more satisfying than crossing off a successfully completed task from one’s to-do list.
Having an aesthetically pleasing and well-functioning workspace also contributes to productivity in comparison to a cluttered and visually unappealing work environment. Such an organization often reduces stress and anxiety, as it eliminates most distractions in the designated space and keeps the mind from wandering. Instead, it helps a person to remain concentrated on the task at hand.
In order to organize a workspace or any space for that matter, it is important to first take some time to declutter, whether it be throwing away items that one does not typically use, or possibly relocating them to a more ideal location.
The next step is finding the most functional placement for items based on one’s individual preferences; what works efficiently for one person may not work as well for another. It is beneficial to use compartmentalized drawer dividers in order to maximize storage space, as they allow one to organize items into more specific categories.
One should strategically sort their belongings into categories based on their importance and average usability. Therefore, only the most important items should remain on the surface of a workspace, in order for one to be able to have a reasonable amount of space to work.
When taking items out of drawers for their use, it is crucial to put them back where they belong as soon as you are finished using them. Otherwise, these items tend to build up as clutter, resulting in a once again disorganized workspace.
Organizing by color is another advantageous strategy. The visual appeal of such an organization will often motivate one to spend more time completing tasks in their workspace, and may even temporarily brighten a person’s mood and state of mind. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is also proven to be an effective system, as color-coding one’s organizational process can serve as a visual way to give oneself cues and prompts to stay on top of the flow of work in the designated space.
The average teenager, no matter how socially busy, has a significant amount of downtime throughout each day. So instead of spending time scrolling through social media or watching television, be productive. Put some of that time to good use by completing school assignments along with various other tasks, especially during the earlier parts of the day. Of course, this is easier said than done. The temptations to procrastinate may be difficult to overcome, but visualizing a positive outcome at the end of the day can make all the difference.
For instance, some encouraging thoughts include: if I do not procrastinate now, I will be able to spend more time socializing with friends and family at the end of the day.
Another motivating thought maybe: if I do not procrastinate now, I will be able to sleep for a greater number of hours tonight, and will be well-rested when I wake up tomorrow.
A person must consider what is most important to them, and proceed to visualize that as their daily reward for avoiding procrastination.
Identifying triggers in one’s environment which leads to procrastination is something that a person should take note of. Removing these distractions, whether permanently or temporarily, can certainly help an individual to stay focused on the task at hand. For example, if a person often gets distracted by their phone, they should turn off their ringer and place their device in a designated place, out of sight, during the time that they are working on completing assignments. When they are finished with their work for the day, they can then feel free to check their phone.
As with most other habits, overcoming procrastination is challenging. For many individuals, it can easily be compared to a never-ending cycle that terrorizes those who unfortunately fall victim to the harmful habit.
Through making some simple adjustments to one’s lifestyle and remaining determined to change, the average person can significantly reduce their habit of procrastination until it merely becomes a rare occurrence.