YOUNG MINDS 12
Well, there’s always tomorrow!
It’s that time of the year again when even the most seemingly hurricane-torn room magically rights itself and the smallest requests made by a parent, neighbour or even the staunchest nemesis is met with an eagerly helpful attitude. Anything to get away from the impossibly lofty stack of books and notes, right? Every time you think the most pressing matter at hand is to hover around your father and help him wash the car or to make a detailed time table to help you tackle the exam portions when you eventually start to study rather than actually studying, you are engaging in what is called procrastination, the bane of any student’s life!
Procrastination is an act in which you utilize the time you have in completing tasks of low priority in place of tasks with higher priorities or more immediate deadlines. We put off working on some things for a variety of reasons: the tasks in question can be so boring as to induce a state mimicking brain death, or too difficult that you may not feel like you have all the resources to work on it at the moment. There could be reasons for procrastination which lie within us too such as when we get overwhelmed by the task itself because it is too important; disorganised individuals, who have not worked out the tasks to do into an order of importance and immediacy, tend to procrastinate as they may not know where to begin. Many times as you are about to begin work, has it so happened that your parent reprimanded you for not having started yet? As a result of the scolding you received when you were actually getting down to business, you may think “You can’t make me study! Shout all you want, I am going to turn a deaf ear!” This is another contributor to procrastination: rebellion!
Fear of failure is a large cause of procrastination. A student may feel that no matter how much effort they put into studying, they will end up forgetting or making a mistake in the exam all the same and thus end up putting off preparations. Some students, on the other hand, may feel that if they succeed in this exam, pressure on them to perform well in all other subsequent exams will increase and hence put off studying!
One other important reason can be ill adjustment in school. When a student feels like he doesn’t belong in his peer group or doesn’t like going to school, his motivation to work in a timely manner will be low. Likewise, little or no interest in a particular subject leads to a student engaging in any other task but homework pertaining to that subject.
There are ways to overcome procrastination and one of them is to quite simply visualise in your mind the unpleasant consequences of putting off preparations to the last minute. It is such a cumbersome experience to cram late into the night. There are other opportunities available to witness sunrise than while staring at your textbook with loathing and fear! Simply imagine yourself completing revisions at a reasonable time and enjoying your bedtime by unwinding to some music after a hard day of work and get fitful sleep. Please remember that sleep helps in retention of memory! It helps strengthen and consolidate the facts and concepts that you have learnt through the day.
Prioritise your workload by putting them down on paper and tick them off as you complete them. Remember to reward yourself with a little downtime after each task: a small, healthy snack is a great pick-me-up, as well as one great song or a small conversation! Having a studious friend’s support to complete work on time can be helpful. Minimise all distractions, believe in your capability to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done without anybody’s interference and dictates. All the very best, everyone!
SANGEETHA MADHU & JYOTHI RAVICHANDRAN,
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS- SCHOOL EDITION