Even as adults we may not be the best of planners. We may wait a day too late to pay a bill or have our kids screaming that they have no food before we drive to the grocery store. We can't all be on top of things at all times. Procrastination is a part of life.
Procrastination, however, can be chronic. It is a learned habit with counterproductive behaviors and somewhat painful natural consequences.
Our students struggle with procrastination a little more than we do because they do not fully internalize that the "clean up and recovery" efforts from waiting, excusing, and blaming are more painful than just following through with a task at a constant pace. Those natural consequences of procrastination at a younger age do not involve something as severe as losing a job or losing a home. So, the pattern continues, despite something like failing a course.
Procrastination for teens can be the beginning to an end. It has the power to undermine an entire college experience. Some research proves that as much as 60% of college students claim procrastination is their most pressing problem. It may be the sole reason that 31 million people in our country who start college never finish.
Overcoming procrastination is essentially learning a new skill. It is the skill of self-mastery which means you have to teach your brain new ways of doing things so that "doing things now" becomes routine and automatic.
Here are 10 ways that you can teach yourself to "un-procrastinate":
There are various published tools and resources that you can use as a guide to lessen procrastination. Your success depends on your commitment and your discipline. It is not possible to snap your fingers and poof!, suddenly be procrastination-free. This is about dedicating yourself to sustainable change and constant focus. Academic probation or repeating a class is not as fun as being able to binge on Netflix because you've earned this reward. Work hard (first). Play hard (secondly). (Knaus, Overcoming Procrastination for Teens, 2016).
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