Tomorrow Never Comes: Stopping Procrastination
By Ms. Carly Berry, CalPac High School teacher
Have you found yourself saying, “I have plenty of time, I don’t need to start that yet. I’m sure it will work out no matter what.” Or possibly, “What happens if I fail? I’ll never be able to finish it. I don’t even know how to start.” All these thoughts spin in our heads and we find ourselves procrastinating. The more we procrastinate on a task, the larger the task seems and the harder it is to get started.
Sometimes we procrastinate because the project or task seems so big, we don’t even know where to start. Breaking the task into small, realistic steps can help remove the anxiety that overwhelms us and keeps us from getting started. You wouldn’t try to eat a whole meal in one bite! There is always a first step. Find your first step, no matter how simple, and just get started!
For example, you are working on your English course and you come across your next assignment, AN ESSAY! Gasp! The task seems too big to start and the temptation to procrastinate is growing strong. Stop, breathe, and just focus on the first step not the entire essay. The first step is understanding your assignment by reading the instructions! Yay! You did it! Congratulations, you just started and are on your way to finishing the task! It works for any task, like household chores or getting out the door in the morning. Have you ever tried putting pants on two legs at a time? Well, don’t! One leg at a time. Find that first step and just get started!
Tomorrow never comes, stop thinking you’ll get it done tomorrow. Start today! You’ll be incredibly happy you did.
Here’s a sample of steps to writing an essay:
Step 1: Understand Your Assignment (Read the instructions)
Step 2: Read the Assignment Rubric
Step 3: Find a Topic
Step 4: Create a Thesis
Step 5: Research and Find Sources
Step 6: Take Notes from Research
Step 7: Create an Outline
Step 8: Start a Draft
Step 9: Revise and Edit
Step 10: Pat yourself on the back and be proud you finished!