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Procrastination(n): the action of delaying or postponing something
Time Management(n): the ability to use one's time effectively or productively
From my earliest days in school, I remember teachers telling me to never to procrastinate. If an assignment was due, I had to have it neatly polished and ready to turn in by the due date.
No delays. No excuses.
Any excuses, aside from serious illness or family matters, usually meant negligence on my side - that I had put off my scholastic duties as unimportant. At times, this was actually true. Usually if I procrastinated, my finished paper or test would be less than the result I wanted (as would my grades). Additionally because there was less time to work, procrastination had a way of putting unnecessary stress on me. But honestly there were also times when putting off an assignment was in my best interest. Sometimes different classes made demands of me at the same time, and I had to use my scarce time wisely.
Time is limited and our tasks are many.
So when is it okay to put off work and when is it not?
When you convert tendencies for procrastination into time management, you can transform a destructive study skill in a constructive one. The main difference is that you are taking control of the situation and not letting it control you. You are using your time responsibly and effectively.
Here are a few examples of how to tell the two apart:
- binge-watching shows on Netflix for hours
- playing Pokémon Go trying to “catch them all”
- spending too much time finding the right Instagram filter
- focusing on your Snapchat story instead of your English literature
- not using your free time to do important upcoming assignments
- prioritizing and organizing your limited time on assignments
- scheduling time for your self-care and mental well-being (it's okay to take breaks!)
- skimming/scanning through large amounts of readings
- balancing your leisure time accordingly with your academic demands
Time management is a highly underrated study skill and indicator of academic success. It is a skill that needs to be learned as early as possible, as students will carry it into high school, college, the professional environment and beyond.
The process of changing your habits from procrastination to time management is one that takes time and, at times, may be challenging.
Luckily, you do not have to go it alone! Through 24/7 support and study strategizing tailored to your academic needs, staff at Hillview Prep can walk with you towards better time management and academic success every step of the way. If this is a skill you need to learn ASAP, contact us today so we can work with you. Don't procrastinate!