I used to watch the 2011 film Bridesmaids over and over again for no apparent reason other than to laugh. Movies with people getting married can be very entertaining. I think another reason was because I could identify with Kristen Wiig’s character, Annie Walker. Annie had some life troubles, and she was good at avoiding their solutions. She was a procrastinator and a quitter. By the end of the movie, Annie found herself friendless, carless, jobless and lacking the understanding needed to fix everything. That was, until her friend Megan beat her with the truth using one simple line near the movie’s end: “You are the problem, Annie. You are also the solution.”
I have long struggled with procrastination. I also know fellow students who struggle with procrastination, but do not like to admit it. “Those presentation notes can wait,” we say. We tend to blame our problems on things that are out of our control. The truth is, we are the problem; and we are also our own solution. According to Student Academic Services at California Polytechnic State University, procrastination is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to some degree or another.
The good news: This problem is self-created but it can also be solved on your own. The key is determination. The bad news: It gets worse as time goes on! Procrastination has a snowball effect on your brain. The more you procrastinate, the more you will procrastinate. It is reinforcing – every time you delay, it reinforces your negative attitude toward a certain task. Talk yourself into working on homework ahead of time. Impossible? No. It is only impossible if you believe it to be.
First step to contend with procrastination is to envision your future and your goals. The only obstacle is you. Make a habit of planning your day, your week, even your month if you can. Follow through with your homework schedule and reward yourself for good behavior. Make positive associations with planning and following through with your work. This will not only counteract the negative habits of procrastination, it will encourage you to work harder and faster.
Secondly, use your competitive streak for will power. Imagine other people getting the job that you want, that grade, that promotion, that vacation or house. The world we live in is not a forgiving place. Those who work hardest and most efficiently will most likely succeed.
Lastly, be honest. If you need help, get help. The counseling center at SNU welcomes students with mental and emotional frustrations. Do not be afraid to open up about things that you struggle with. Family issues, relationships, low self-esteem and health can be factors contributing to procrastination. We are human, and we make mistakes. Mistakes are okay as long as you learn from them. Remember, you are the only person who is keeping you from success.