Sci-Fi Heroine: The science of procrastination

I would have titled this “The Art of Procrastination,” because I turn procrastination into an art form, but then, I’m not the A&E editor; I’m the Science & Tech editor. I always have the intention of studying when I get home from a long day of classes in the morning and work in the afternoon. Let’s face it: After a long day, most students just think about one thing — sleep. It’s like the energy seeps completely out of me the moment I see my bed. My backpack gets heavier, and those bunched-up blankets and pillows that were abandoned earlier are only begging me to snuggle with them. I always tell myself, “After my nap, then I’ll study.”

We always find ways to put off studying. We’ve all been there, and if you say you haven’t, then you’re a liar. The tools of our procrastination can come in different forms, like Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr. They may also include the chores we procrastinated earlier. It’s amazing how important doing laundry or tidying up my room can seem when I have 34 unanswered math questions that need done.

Most students, me very much included, walk a fine line between helpful and harmful procrastination. Yes, I’m here to tell you it is my firm belief that procrastination can be helpful in your studies just as much as it can be harmful.

There are two different forms of stress. One is the type of stress we all feel as we are preparing to give a class presentation or right before we enter Lampros Hall. When we feel that excitement, anticipation of what is to come, it is called eustress. This type of stress can help us reach the perfect level of performance for our minds and bodies. It can help focus our minds on what they need to do.

Too much of any one thing is bad for you. The same rule applies to procrastination. If we procrastinate studying until just hours before an exam, we’re more likely to experience a distressed or panicked feeling rather than the positive stress. That panic can cause just the opposite effect. It can actually inhibit mental and psychological performance.  Not only can it inhibit your performance, it can lead to health problems.

The keys to not stepping over that fine line into the ugly side of procrastination are prioritizing and taking one subject at time.

For example, you have a math test, a botany exam, a column and four assignments in Stress Management due this week (yes, this was my past week). The math test is due on Thursday, your botany exam is on Friday, your column deadline is Saturday afternoon, and your Stress Management homework is due on Saturday night.

Always prioritize your classes by time frame and make sure you give extra time to the subjects you struggle with. This will help alleviate stress rather than add to it.

Taking one subject at a time will help your mind focus on what needs to be done rather than having your brain pulled so many different directions. Don’t worry too much about botany the next day when you’ve got a math test ahead of that. Once math is done, then focus all your time and energy on botany.

Ideally, none of us would choose a nap over studying, but the odds are always good that we will. However, should the pillow win out over the books, just prioritize and focus on what needs done first, and hopefully you can avoid full-on panic mode that will just add more stress to an already-stressful student lifestyle.

@WSUScienceTech

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Posted by on February 2, 2014. Filed under Academics, Columns, Opinion, Science & Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Sci-Fi Heroine: The science of procrastination

  1. Pingback: Sci-Fi Heroine: The science of procrastination | Home Learning Tips

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