Jake Spruance ’19

Procrastination is an epidemic. Personally, I struggle with it, but I’m definitely not the worst. Some days, I’ll get home from sports at around 6:00, eat dinner, then go up to my room, sit at my desk, and do absolutely everything I can to not be productive for the next hour or two, until starting my work. Eventually, that familiar panicked feeling sets in, and I blow through all my homework or studying and go to sleep much later than I should.I could be managing my time more efficiently and getting to sleep earlier, but I never do.

At times, I almost feel as if I refuse to get started earlier. It can be extremely difficult to muster the motivation to begin a daunting task like writing a paper or finishing a lab, and it can be equally difficult to complete mindless busywork. Instead, I’d rather be spending my time doing other things, like writing music, reading, or just vegging out. However, instead of doing the activities I enjoy or the work I must complete, I end up staring blankly at my phone screen, wandering aimlessly between games, news, and social media. I am aware of the work that I must do, so I don’t fully commit to my hobbies, but at the same time I can’t convince myself to start paring down my dreaded mountain of work. The constant stimulation from my iPhone keep me relatively entertained, and I’m helplessly addicted until I realize I’m behind. The worst part is that I’m not a person that functions particularly well on low sleep, so the second I get behind, I stay groggy and unmotivated for the rest of the week. As the end of the school year draws to a close, it is becoming more and more important that I avoid procrastination at all costs. It’s a downhill race to the finish now, and the workload is only going to get heavier. You’re probably thinking, why did you just tell me all of this? Why should I care about your work routine? What does this mean for me? I’m getting there.

For at least the next two weeks, I’m going to subject myself to my own anti-procrastination experiment. I’m not going to keep my phone in my room when I do work, and I’m going to do my best to maximize my sleep. All of my schoolwork is going to take precedence over distracting, leisure activities, as much as I might not like it. Throughout the course of this experiment, I’ll keep a journal and log what worked for that day and what didn’t. Were my thoughts more clear? Did I need a coffee or two in order to wake up in the morning (By the way, this experiment will also involve me trying to dispose of my caffeine dependence)? Was I able to do any of my hobbies that afternoon? What was my mood like? The point is, I’ll be thorough, and I should have time to write these entries assuming I actually follow my goal. Maybe this experiment will be a success and I’ll fall into a rhythm of getting my work done on time, who knows. I’ll make sure to share the results of my brief study in my next article, and hopefully I can provide some helpful tips if you too struggle with procrastination.