Welcome back to Loyola for spring 2014 semester! We at the University Counseling Center (UCC) hope that you had a restful and rejuvenating break. Now it’s time to get back in gear to start the spring semester on positive footing.
Time and time again students present to the UCC feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed as a result of juggling a slew of responsibilities such as coursework, studying, co-curricular leadership positions, work, and/or social activities. Sometimes, the easiest answer is avoidance; however, while this might be an effective short-term solution, its long term consequences can have far-reaching effects. So, how do you know that you are procrastinating? Here are a few clues:
- Do you act as though if you ignore a task, it will go away?
- Do you underestimate the work involved in the task, or overestimate your abilities and resources in relationship to the task?
- Do you deceive yourself into believing that a mediocre performance or lesser standards are acceptable?
- Do you believe that repeated and minor delays are harmless?
If you can see yourself in one or more of these situations, then, like most of us, you’ve engaged in procrastination. Keep in mind that procrastination is the avoidance of anxiety and that the sooner you get to work, the better the outcome will be for you. Here are a few ideas to ponder to assist you with making good on your procrastination resolution—
- Make honest decisions about your work. If you wish to spend only a minimal amount of effort or time on a particular task, admit it–do not allow guilt feelings to interfere with your realization of this fact.
- Study in small blocks instead of long time periods. For example, you will accomplish more if you study/work in 60 minute blocks and take frequent 10 minute breaks in between, than if you study/work for 2-3 hours straight, with no breaks. Reward yourself after you complete a task.
- Modify your environment: Eliminate or minimize noise/distraction. Ensure adequate lighting. Have necessary equipment at hand. Don’t waste time going back and forth to get things. Don’t get too comfortable when studying. A desk and straight-backed chair are usually best. Be neat! Take a few minutes to straighten your desk. This can help to reduce day-dreaming.
- Grab an impulse to work on a project, and stay with it while it lasts.
- Work alongside a non-procrastinator.
- Use a wall calendar or monthly planner. Write in each deadline (exams, papers, projects, etc.) on the day it is due.
- Break large tasks into small steps, scheduling each step into your planner. This makes those difficult tasks seem less overwhelming.
Best of success with your procrastination resolution and remember: Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
For more information on the UCC, please visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling.