Procrastination is when you put off and avoid doing something which you have to do. High school students have the tendency to think there will be a better time "later" and so they push things off and struggle to complete requirements in a timely manner. This can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety as well as poor performance if the task ends up being completed without enough time to do it well.
There are many reasons why students procrastinate. Being able to truly look at yourself and WHY you procrastinate is the best strategy for helping yourself improve and change your pattern of behavior.
- Perfectionism. Students who want to do everything perfectly may struggle to complete work fearing that it won't live up to their standards.
- Fear of Failure. Some students are less worried about being perfect, but more of a fear of the fact that they won't be able to accomplish the task successfully and that lack of confidence makes it difficult for them to engage and complete the assignment.
- Task Difficulty. Students who believe they do not have the knowledge and skills required to complete the assignment successfully and think that it is too difficult for them may tend to procrastinate.
- Confusion. The general confusion about where to start or what is required makes it very challenging for some students to be able to engage with the work.
- Difficulty Concentrating. There are students who want to do the work but are limited by other distractions. They may sit down to start working, but get sidetracked by a text message and that spirals into other distractions and these will all be more appealing than studying or doing homework and so it can create a challenge for some students to do work because of all of the distractions that they would prefer to focus on instead.
- Lack of Priorities. Along with those who have trouble with concentrating comes those students who struggle with priorities. This may actually be of struggling to identify which school assignments should be tackled first and HOW to make progress through the material by re-prioritizing what needs to be done each day.
- Lack of Motivation. Students who simply don't care about what the assignment asks for and what the value of what they are being asked to do may find it difficult to push themselves to complete the work.
- Dislike of Task. There are students who will struggle to complete the assignment simply because they don't like what they are being asked to do. They may have the motivation to do well in the class or with assignments as a whole, but this particular task may be a struggle for them. (For example, students who don't like to present in front of a class may procrastinate because of their dislike of the requirement of presenting their end product.)
As you review the list, try to think about what holds you back and then identify strategies that can help you overcome each. There is support for you in this effort from your counselor, your teachers and the Academic Assistants in the Teaching and Learning Center.