Managing My Time

Leo Quale, Op/Ed Editor

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          Time really flies when you’re not doing your homework, especially when it’s due the next day.

           I think every high schooler can relate to not having enough motivation, enough energy, enough chutzpah to get all their assignments done. I for one have an extremely bad habit of de-stressing by taking what I call “self-care intermissions” or in plain English, naps. Before this year I’d been pretty average with my work ethic, I’d wait until the day or the night before the assignment was due but recently I’ve been waiting until the morning of the due date and sometimes not finishing them until days after they’ve been due. An unexpected ( but quite predictable ) side effect of my sloth has been my attendance, I’ve been missing whole classes and sometimes entire days. My plan for homework usually goes like this, put it off until absolutely necessary, which causes the build up to be so extensive I’ll have to sacrifice entire days doing only homework when I should be in school learning new material. It goes without saying that my parents detest my proficiency at procrastination. It’s caused numerous fights and rough mornings but in the end I do take responsibility for them as I’m the one a week behind in math, not them. What I failed to realize at first is my procrastination affected more than just my GPA.

          Procrastination breeds many problems, unneeded stress, lack of sleep, low grades, absences and a less recognized consequence; more stress for teachers. Most teachers can’t give back tests for students to reflect upon until every student has taken that test. Some teachers can’t even pass back assignments until everyone has completed them. This puts pressure on the teachers whose students need their assignments or tests back for corrections or to complete further parts of the assignment. I am definitely guilty of overlooking that aspect of my procrastination and while I am definitely trying to improve, it’s been a little hard. First, there’s an overwhelming amount of work from all my classes I’ve let slip through my fingers and while it’s not unmanageable it’s still quite a bit. Second, keeping up with all the new work, new subjects, and upcoming tests, which wouldn’t be that bad except for the aforementioned workload and the fact I choose to take up even more of my own time with many extracurricular activities. Right now I probably sound a lot like I’m complaining, and you wouldn’t be wrong for  accusing me of that because I clearly am a little bit. But enough about what has to be done, it’s time to discuss how I can do it. 

          Starting is definitely the hardest part for me. I see a huge pile of work and my brain immediately goes into sleep mode, it’s like my body’s defense mechanism is to play dead. I’ve found the best way to overcome this is by diving right in with a huge adrenalin rush of productive fervor or by mapping out what needs to get done and then ranking it by importance. After my embarkation ritual I begin the grueling task of actually working. I’ve found that listening to music without lyrics or lyrics in a foreign language helps me focus the best, for me it means less distraction. This goes without saying, but I put my cellular device out of sight if possible, it’s psychologically proven to help you focus better. My last condition is to have a drink, I usually have tea to sip while I’m working. After that it’s just good old-fashioned hard labor. 

          Lately, I’ve found myself steadily catching up on my work, while I’m in no way finished, or even that close, I’m making progress and that matters. There are a ton of things that can happen in life that can get you behind, and believe me, I know how sucky a feeling it is. But possibly the worst thing you can do for yourself is to give up. Don’t let yourself get into that defeatist mindset. Make a plan, talk to your teachers and most importantly start, because that will always be the hardest part. So next time you’ve got a project due the next day, do you and your future self a favor and finish strong.