Can We Fix Procrastination?

Photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán,

Photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán,

Jonas Grant, Writer

An overwhelming majority of students, including myself, procrastinate. It’s natural, and frankly easier, to avoid whatever we “have” to do, and do something we actually want to do. However, unfortunately, the solution might not entirely be in your control. 

Students usually procrastinate because they lack motivation, or because of stress and anxiety (often related to the schoolwork itself or a teacher). Could schools aid students in motivation? Could they help students with reducing stress? 

A class of 2020 graduate says, “Schools definitely could change how they teach, by offering more personalized assignments or classes to make a more motivating and helpful experience for the student.” This would give students with varying learning preferences and styles the opportunity to actually improve their performance in school. 

According to a study published in 2015, 86.1% of students (out of 777) waited until the last 24 hours before an essay was due to start. If schools allow students to learn in a way that actually fits them, it would increase motivation and in turn lower the number of students who procrastinate. 

The issue is that schools haven’t made any real or noticeable changes, these problems can be bandaged by individual teachers who make an effort to help students, but not actually fixed, as that would require the school itself, or maybe the state.  


How can teachers reduce procrastination in their students?

In theory, a good way of stopping students from procrastinating is chopping up the work that needs to be done through due dates from a teacher (mainly if it’s an essay or longer form work). This way, even if it’s procrastinated, it’s chopped up, and the final product could be improved upon rather than rushed entirely. Ethan Hunt, a Pentucket senior said that he prefers things to be spread out instead of on one single due date.


Do teachers not understand you might have other things to do?

Usually, it feels like teachers don’t understand that you need to efficiently value 5-7 classes and the work they assign (mainly out of school). Beyond this, someone might have intense classes, a job, or play a sport all at once (with possible pressure from parents). 

It could be that a student procrastinates because they’re stressed and want to put off doing their schoolwork. Or, maybe the problem isn’t always procrastination but rather the student is just busy? 


How to stop procrastinating 

External factors, such as an unhelpful teacher or not having enough time is something that is unrealistic to be changed in the short term. It’s likely that future schools will adapt based on what has been learned about students and the best way to teach taking into account their differences. This would be the ultimate solution to the procrastination problem, unfortunately, we are not there yet

Some procrastination will always exist within everyone, but as long as you notice the existence of procrastination within yourself, it is not impossible to get rid of it. A schedule can easily help, it does not need to be rigorous, but doing your schoolwork at a similar time of day can build routine and expectation. Ethan says “I usually set a 30-minute timer on my phone so I can work in increments.” Creating a motivator can also help with not only getting the work done but also chunking it up. Something else to keep in mind is as long as the work is started, the likelihood of it being procrastinated is largely decreased. In the end, chances are schoolwork will probably suck no matter what, but it is certainly worse when you’re rushed.