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Procrastination: the subtle art of putting off important work and then scrambling at the very last moment to get it done until you’re so stressed you can barely think. It’s been done by almost everybody. You get home and you think, “Wow I have a lot of work to do, I should really get on it.” But instead, you lay around browsing the internet, watching TV, or playing video games.

Studymode, an edtech company that dedicates itself to helping students succeed in school, recently conducted a study that showed that out of 1,300 high school and college students, 87 percent say that they procrastinate and that it affects their performance, while 45 percent report that it negatively impacts their grades on a fairly regular basis.

“It can get you into a lot of trouble,” Emily Hankins [11] said. “I think it is the downfall of a lot of high schoolers. I procrastinate every once in awhile but it causes my anxiety to get really bad and if it gets bad enough I cry and can’t sleep and if I can’t sleep I can’t eat.”

This is a high and fairly shocking number, and presents an increasingly present problem in the American Education System. Among a list of things that students could be doing instead of studying, watching TV came in as the number one method of procrastination, followed by using social media.

This trend of procrastination may be due to the large amount of homework students receive, with 40 percent of students saying the reason they procrastinate is because they feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.

Procrastination isn’t inherently a bad thing though; some people work better when they procrastinate, as the added pressure can make them put out their best work.

“Procrastination isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Chanlynn Allen [English teacher] said. “Some people need a certain amount of pressure to excel. I’ve noticed whenever I write a paper I find it easier to do it under pressure.”

Though some people work better when they procrastinate, for many it is a real and potentially dangerous problem to their schoolwork or job. Fortunately, there are methods to help deal with this problem.

Newton’s first law states, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.” This is very true when it comes to procrastinating, and there are a few good methods to keep you in motion and focused on your schoolwork. One of the best things you can do is make a list of everything important that needs to be done today, then check off one of those things as you complete it. Pick a specific time to start your tasks, as having a set schedule can be very helpful for staying on track. Imagine how great you’ll feel when the work is done, the anxiety is gone, and your confidence is back.    Lastly, quit trying to be perfect in everything. Perfectionism can lead to worse procrastination since you are so focused trying to make one thing perfect that the other tasks are ignored. Just put in your best effort, and all will turn out okay.

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