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Procrastination: friend or foe?

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Eirini Arampatzi is 19 years old and a second-year student in the English Language and Culture Bachelor's. In her first blog post for DUB, she talks about a problem we're sure many students will relate: procrastination.

I am a procrastinator. I procrastinate a lot and by a lot I mean I can leave something for the last minute and then complain that I do not have enough time (especially now with the pandemic). However, I know that if I get a second chance, I will do the same thing again. This has made me panic in the past, but eventually, I've learned to control it and maintain it. So what is procrastination?

Procrastination can be many things. We avoid things we have to do because we...

  1. Do not want to;
  2. Are lazy;
  3. Have so many things to do and don't know where to start;
  4. Are fed up with all the work and need a break;
  5. Poor time management...

Procrastinators are usually unable to see the bigger picture: if we finish our work on time, we will have time to relax without guilt. 

However, procrastination is not something we need to be afraid of. Procrastination is one of the ways that your body uses to tell you that you need to take things slowly. Procrastination is not simply laziness. Because during the time we procrastinate, we also panic.

Nevertheless, panic is sometimes not enough to make us get up and do our work. Therefore, we tend to avoid panic and make ourselves believe that we have enough time, even if this is not true. So, I want to suggest some ways that you can procrastinate without panic, and without losing track of time. 

  1. Manage your time. You have probably heard this so many times that you are now sick of it. Understandable. I also hate making a schedule, but it is the only thing that will help you to keep track of all the tasks you need to complete. Start by coming up with a time schedule that works for you. I have met people who were fine with only having a ten-minute break when studying, but that doesn't work for everyone. Take as much time as you need to relax before starting a new task. You need to start every task with good energy and motivation. If that requires a long break, then take it. 
     
  2. Break the tasks down. Studying and working can sometimes seem like a mountain of tasks. You cannot have a clear image when you have everything piled together. So, break it down! Prioritize your responsibilities. Check your deadlines, write them down, and start with the tasks you need to finish first. After you are done with one of them, move on to the next one.
     
  3. Consider taking a hobby. Allow yourself to do what you want. Procrastination does not have to be productive or thoughtful. It can be staring at a wall, talking to a friend, or cleaning your room. However, it can be good sometimes to plan activities within your longer breaks that can motivate you to do work later. It has been proven that some activities can help motivate your spirit. Working out, drawing or painting, cooking or baking, gardening, etc. can improve your mental health and get you going.

These are just a few suggestions that helped me to stop procrastinating during my studies and relax. It is easy to panic and lose control of your responsibilities, and hard to focus on a global pandemic. Staying home can be challenging and demotivating. Procrastination is understandable when there is no flavor in our routine. So, make sure to spice it up!

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