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How to not procrastinate procrastination

“I’ll do it tomorrow” is my middle name for a reason

If you’re like me, you have been rigorously binge-watching shows, hanging out with friends and traveling great distances from your bed to your TV — or maybe even to the dining hall —   throughout the past few weekends. Or perhaps you’ve been visiting restaurants and enjoying the night life. For all of us — come on, let’s be real — reality has finally caught up, and the immense amount of work we were supposed to catch up on before the start of finals but obviously didn’t has finally come to haunt us. To those heroic Hoos going through it, here are some helpful steps to tackle your procrastination — especially the work you are supposed to be doing right now instead of reading this article. If you follow these steps to a T, then you might even have time to squeeze in a nap and get in a semblance of the heavenly amount of sleep you’re probably going to mourn before the start of finals season.

Step 1 — Denial is Key

My favorite thing about procrastination is that you always have something to do tomorrow. So, first things first, you need to deny that you've been procrastinating. Instead, tell yourself that you've just been taking a much needed break. In fact, you should probably take a few more breaks before getting started. Watch that show you've been wanting to finish or take a leisurely walk around Grounds. This way, you'll have a clear mind when you finally decide to get to work. And if you have already taken numerous breaks, then I’m sure that you still have time to do whatever you need to do. Whether it’s due tomorrow or the day after or even a week, you have so much time, it surely doesn't need to be done now. Furthermore, even if it does need to be done now, I’m sure it’s not that important. Maybe it’s just a paper or an outline. Regardless, not only do you have a lot of time but I’m sure it’s not that important because if it was, it would have been done by now. Right?

Step 2 — Bribe Yourself

Yes, you read that right. If you want to get things done, simply bribe yourself with something you love. For example, promise yourself a slice of pizza or a scoop of ice cream once you finish your work. Or better yet, bribe yourself with a day off to binge-watch your favorite show once you finish that important project. But be warned, this method can backfire if you don't choose your bribe carefully. If you bribe yourself with a nap, you might end up sleeping through a deadline. Been there, done that. So, choose your bribe wisely and make sure it's something that motivates you to get things done. And if all else fails, you can always bribe a friend to do your work for you. Just make sure they don't ask for too high a price!

Step — Pretend You're in a Race

Well, what if I told you that all you need to do is pretend you're in a race to get your work done? That's right! It's time to channel your inner Usain Bolt and sprint towards the finish line of productivity! Pick a race distance. Is it a 100-meter dash to finish that essay, or are you running a marathon to complete your entire half semester's worth of work? Start visualizing the finish line and whatever motivates you. It could be a gold medal or treating yourself to a pint of Ben & Jerry's from Croads that costs an arm and a leg. Start the race! Every time you finish a task, give yourself a little pat on the back or do a victory dance — treat yourself to anything but a TikTok break because we all know five minutes on that app will become three hours in no time. But wait, there's more! To make things even more interesting, why not race against a friend or classmate? Who can finish their work first and claim victory? Add friendly competition to the mix, and you'll be surprised at how fast you can get things done.

Step 4 — Get a Buddy

If all else fails, find a procrastination buddy. But not just any buddy. Find a buddy that is as much of a procrastinator as you are, if not even more. Call up a friend and complain about how much you don't want to do your work. Then, set a timer and work together. Knowing that someone else is also suffering can make the experience a little more bearable. Plus, you can commiserate over a glass of Runk smoothie once the work is done. Come up with all sorts of crazy ideas to get motivated. Set up a reward system, have dance parties every hour, the possibilities are almost endless. As long as there is slight accountability, maybe — just, maybe — you will be able to get your work done. 

So there you have it, four easy steps to tackle procrastinated work after a hiatus. Just remember, denial, pretending you're in a race, bribes, and finding a buddy are all valid strategies to help you get through the workday. If those don’t help, I recommend barricading yourself in Clem and hoping for the best. But then again, you’re reading an article I wrote to procrastinate instead of working on my assignments so happy procrastinating — er, I mean, happy working!


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