The Right Way to Procrastinate

So you’re an A-TECH kid. Well done. You’ve gotten yourself into an inescapable pit of stress, homework and the letters ‘A’ and ‘P’ that in no way correlate to Fallout.

Let’s say, hypothetically, you’re a freshman, so you still have hope in your soul. You may have realized by this point in the school year that A-TECH can get rough at times. Once every few days, you may open your binder and say under your breath: ‘that’ll be a no from me chief’.

A-TECH is a breeding ground for procrastinators. We all do it. All of us. Yes, even the valedictorian procrastinates occasionally. Maybe you said you used the teacher’s study site to study, but your internet history says Quizlet. Yes, you say you’ve been preparing for the project all week, but I see 41 messages from the groupchat.

Either way, temptation to procrastinate is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s human nature to want to wait to the last minute. The very last minute. I mean right before the class its due in. Truth is, though, procrastination can take a seriously devastating toll on your grades and your livelihood…

If you do it wrong.

There are actually plenty of ways to efficiently procrastinate. In fact, this very article was procrastinated (not efficiently though). Let’s run through some things you should know about procrastinating the right way.

A. Waiting is okay.

The first thing to accept before learning how to procrastinate is that waiting is not the same as procrastinating. Understanding which classes are most difficult for you as an individual is key to knowing which homework to do first. Suck at math like I do? English can wait. If it’s not a major assignment and it isn’t due tomorrow, it should take some serious reasoning to convince you to do it early.

B. Plan ahead.

If you know that you have an event to attend on Thursday, and you have psychology homework due that day, don’t procrastinate. Think ahead. Sure it’s okay to wait on an assignment if you feel overwhelmed and know that you won’t finish it to the best of your ability on a particular day, all that means is that it’s time to reprioritize.

You may have planned to do English first, but, duh, the English homework isn’t due until Friday. Therefore, don’t get caught up in your own head. As A-TECH kids, we tend to fool ourselves into ‘getting ahead’ in classes that we’re already ahead in, instead of actually catching up in classes that matter.

Then we wonder why we’re doing so much work but remain behind.

C. Know yourself.

Don’t conform your study habits to what ‘sounds good’. This is a crucial part of procrastinating correctly. Not everyone can cram everything in and live inside of a book to work efficiently. If you know you don’t have the best attention span, chop assignments up. Priority one should be what’s due next, and what’s most difficult should be in close second.

If you’re trash at History but it isn’t due for another two days, don’t stress yourself out over it yet. Do the English, IT and whatever else is due tomorrow, even if it is easier. We live in a grade-based educational system, meaning the best way to get ahead is to get work in on time. I always say that missing assignments are the ultimate assassin to good grades.

It’s a better compromise to get a good night’s sleep and be awake the next day to correct your mistakes on that difficult assignment than to get a perfect score on a single assignment, learn nothing, and get zeroes on all the other classes’ homework, easy as they may be.

So, procrastinating is not the most evil act in the schoolyard. It doesn’t always kill grades and stress everyone out. If done in a non-stupid way, procrastination can actually alleviate stress, and it should be utilized in a way that benefits the individual, not caters to the status quo.

Procrastination is a weapon, and it may be one that sliced your 4.0 clean into a 2.5 in one well-placed stroke. Still, it can be the blade that cauterize the deepest wounds if you use it just right.