Debra Born, Assistant Features Editor
National Procrastination Week is March 3-9 — so long as it doesn’t get put off or pushed back on the calendar.
The week emphasizes accomplishing tasks. Fortunately for Utica College students, this year’s National Procrastination Week falls during the same week as midterms.
Students at UC discussed how they avoid procrastinating and suggested ideas for overcoming the pressure to put off assignments or studying.
Shane Walpole is a sophomore in the cybersecurity program, and he explained his reasoning as to why people procrastinate.
“I don’t want to say it’s just laziness,” Walpole said. “People see that the due date is five months out and they don’t deal with it until a week earlier. I think that’s the reason.”
Walpole has his own ways of dealing with the urge to procrastinate.
“I try and go to the library,” Walpole said. “When I’m at home, I tend to lie around and not get my work done. That’s what I try to do to keep on track, just to stay focused.”
Walpole has advice for other students.
“Just stay away from distractions,” Walpole said. “If you get distracted easily, just find a place that’s quiet, maybe listen to some music. Just get everything done. You’ll be thankful that you did it.”
Freshman Taylor Boehlert is a dual major in sociology-anthropology and early childhood education. Bohlert said she tries get assignments done with as early as possible.
“As soon as you get something, try to start it because if you don’t you’re just going to keep putting it off,” Boehlert said. “Any free time you have, just try to get it done little by little. Don’t try to get it done all at once, because it will just stress you out.”
Even the order a student gets work done is important.
“You have to try to do everything you don’t want to do first, then at the end you’ll just feel relieved,” Boehlert said.
Other students focus on blocking out distractions to control procrastination.
“I usually will turn my phone off, kind of ignore the entire outside world,” said senior Cory Patterson. “Focus on one thing, try not to do multiple things at once. It’s difficult, especially in the age of technology; everyone you have to snapchat daily and text daily. I think it’s good to have a certain amount of downtime where you can just get away.”
Taking things one day at a time also a beneficial mindset to be in.
“What I usually do is focus on one class at a time, make sure I’m learning that material,” Patterson said. “I focus on the class I’m struggling with and I focus on the harder work first, then the easier work.”
Patterson compared studying for an intense 60-question test with writing a short paper that he knows he can type up in a few hours.
“You probably should study for that harder one first,” Patterson said.
Patterson also believes in stopping work for short periods.
“Taking breaks helps because then you’re motivated to get back to it,” Patterson said. “Take a ten-minute break after doing a paper.”
Briannah Florian, senior in the nursing program, has a detailed method for getting work done.
“I always use my planner and write everything down when I should start things and try to make a schedule,” Florian said. “It’s important to go through syllabi beforehand and write everything down just to stay on track.”
Florian likes to have assignments completed a couple days before the deadline to give her extra time if she needs it.
“I don’t like to wait until the last minute, but it happens sometimes,” Florian said.
Procrastination is more than putting off assignments, it can also involve waiting until the last minute to study for tests.
“I personally like to make study guides as you go through topics in class,” Florian said.
Florian first types out PowerPoints from class and lecture notes for the study guides. Then, she researches the material and makes note cards on Quizlet to combine with lecture notes for the study guides.
The nursing student offered tips to keep assignments organized.
“Try and keep a schedule for yourself and stay on track and set goals; where you want to be and what you want to accomplish,” Florian said. “Just know what study tips are best for you.”