Maggie McDermott

Frontier staff and students, students globally, and people in general have struggled to complete tasks, ruining their self esteem. What is the cause, effect, and solution procrastination? 

Have you ever made a new year’s resolution to stop procrastinating, or never finish that one project you had been so excited about when first starting it? Is there a five minute assignment that has never even been attempted because you thought it would take an hour? Putting off tasks gives us a false feeling of accomplishment in the moment, even without doing anything “productive”. The word “procrastinate” stems from the ancient Greek word akrasia, which means doing something against our better judgment. 

Teachers and staff popularly said they focus on making lists and managing their schedule so that fun and work is balanced evenly. One thing at a time. Using a calendar! Finishing something a week before the deadline so that the editing and finishing can be done with ease. The general consensus is that when you prioritize the most important thing, take things slow, and track a schedule, you’ll never be rushed and the fun will become more consuming than the work. “Part of it is about being proactive.”said Ms. Strelke. “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” She recalled a quote by James Clear before giving an example question in preventing putting off work; “What is a system I can change?”. The students had similar thoughts, saying lists are very helpful. One student recalled their trick when preventing school work. “Thinking of the assignment as smaller than it is” says Mr. Fasulo. “Sometimes it’s okay to trick your brain if it works for you.”. Finding your personal style and understanding your habits is key. 

Physiologically, we traditionally rely on a reward system to do anything, big or small. So even when you over prepare your space to do homework by getting a snack, music, switching chairs…changing locations…reorganizing your planner… you have the right intentions but your brain is being rewarded with accomplishments that don’t benefit the real goals you have. With all the changes happening at school this year (hall passes, schedules), let’s change this habit for good. 

Procrastination is motivated by anxiety and frustration internally. Doing homework, schoolwork, chores for others instead of doing them for yourself and your future wouldn’t make sense right? Remember to stay up to date with your work so it can be outweighed by your fun.