Fall is the wonderful time of year where the wind starts to get cold, leaves start to fall, and students begin to hate their lives again. I’ve just made the transition from grade 9 to grade 10 this year, and after the first 3-ish weeks of High School, I feel pretty comfortable highlighting some differences between the two. First of all, days in High School feel a lot shorter than in junior high. I attribute this to there only being 4 periods, but my friend told me it was because I always zone out in class. I honestly can’t say he’s wrong. Next, you have a lot more freedom in the options and clubs you join, and finally, there is a lot more work to do. You are given less direction to your learning and have to learn and review a lot of things by yourself. The teachers also began the year faster and give out assignments far more frequently. If you’re reading this, you’re likely a student, or have been at some point in your life, and all students know one thing; where there is work, there is procrastination.
Now, I’m very familiar with procrastination. Which is a really bad thing. Don’t be proud of yourself if you’re like me. However, I’ve also learned how to deal with procrastination, which is valuable, and If that’s a skill you have, give yourself a clap on the back. Now there are a few ways to stop yourself from procrastination, and they may not all work for you, but here are a few tips to eliminate procrastination and improve work ethic.
- Start working as soon as possible. All of the other tips build off of this tip, and all procrastination stems from ignoring this tip.
- Set a deadline for what you have to do before the actual due date of the assignment or project, and create a
step-by-step timeline of how much work you should have done at a given date before the deadline. This tactic gives you some incentive and healthy stress to actually work without a consequence if you can’t make the deadline, as well as breaking the assignment into smaller, more manageable chunks. This strategy works best when you’re tasked with a large project with a very far away due date, and prevents you from wasting half of the time you’re given without making any progress. I would recommend this tactic to you only if you’re organized and want to work, but just keep telling yourself “I have enough time…”
- Focus on the end goal. This applies to all of life. If you have nothing to work for, then you won’t work. When studying for a test or working on an assignment, think about what you want. Whether this be a good grade, or bragging rights, or fulfilling your dream in life, whatever floats your boat, just think about what you’re working towards, and see every single word you type, or page you read as a step towards that finish line. If you’re really uninterested in the task you have to do, which happens really often, *cough socials studies cough* create a reward system to work towards. No one, except your teacher, expects you do read 50 pages in one sitting, so give yourself a break every now and then, just no too often. I would really recommend using this to boost your work ethic when you are running out of time, or when you’re really unmotivated to work.
- Remove distractions. Don’t even try to simply ignore distractions. We both know that’s not going to work. Instead, eliminate those distractions. Obliterate them. Remove them from existence. Or if you’re not that hardcore, just find a way to stop them from bothering you. For example, I’m very popular and have lots of friends who want to text me. Woo, that’s a good joke. Now back on topic, if your phone is getting in the way of your work, turn it off. If you’re getting social media notifications, log off. Just keep working. After all, your work has a deadline, those things don’t.
- Turn on some music. A lot of people say to only listen to classical music. Screw that, listen to whatever you want. The only criteria for a working playlist is that it doesn’t distract you. Other than that, go crazy. I’m listening to Imagine Dragons while writing this. Playing music helps you because you get lost in it and begin to ignore the outer world. You are essentially distracting yourself from other distractions. It also makes working a bit more fun, turning it from a -5 on the fun-o-meter to a -3.14159. Guess who just did some math homework. I’d rate it a -3 factorial. Playing music doesn’t help everyone, but if you’re one of the people it does, then there is no assignment or project I wouldn’t recommend using it on.
“One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.”
-Vincent T. Foss
I hope after reading this article, you decide to use some of these techniques I’ve illustrated. If you’re interested in more ways to improve your work ethic, or you’re thinking “This guy’s techniques suck. He probably procrastinated while writing this.” First of all, you’re right about the procrastination, and second of all, here are some of the links I used which have a lot of valuable information and I definitely recommend checking out.
Link to pictures: