This Week: No procrastination


Submitted Catherine Hayden

Editor-in-Chief Catherine Hayden aimed for one week of no procrastination, which meant a week of doing productive work instead of staring at the ceiling playing with a fidget spinner.

Catherine Hayden, Editor-in-Chief

So I was supposed to finish this blog post on 2/28. As you can see, I failed to do this.

It’s no secret that I’m a chronic procrastinator. I knew it was a problem, but I’ve always thought that I could quit if I really wanted to. For a week (Wednesday, March 4 to Tuesday, March 10), I decided to put that to the test. One school week of not procrastinating. How hard could it be anyway?

Day 1

I started off pretty well, which was a win. I stayed after school to take a math quiz and once I finished, I decided to stop procrastinating learning a difficult math topic and actually get help from my teacher.

I came home feeling pretty confident. I’d made good progress after school and was ready for this week to be the most productive breeze ever. Next thing I knew, I was asleep. I would never fall asleep at nap time in Kindergarten but now, after school is naptime galore. 

I groggily woke up and endured four productive hours of robotics before going home and doing some serious procrastinating.

Coming home, I felt tired and sad. When I feel bad, it’s really difficult for me to start my homework, and I fell victim to taking a shower that was way too long and just staring at the wall. I eventually got some work done, but I wish I’d just done it without procrastinating so I could’ve gone to bed earlier.

Day 2

Because of my failure yesterday, I woke up early to study for my math test. I felt pretty good and went into it feeling alright (spoiler alert: it did not go well).

In my Newspaper Production class, I left the room so I could work productively instead of the half-work half-talk I sometimes do. If you’re given the option, I seriously recommend working away from any distractions even if they’re your friends.

Though it pained me to do so, I started my math homework at 7:30. I can’t say I was exactly distraction-free during this time, which definitely factored into me taking until midnight to finish. The key is that I did indeed finish eventually, and that’s the important part.

Overall, I did not fail today!

Day 3

I procrastinated waking up and rushed into school late. I was not particularly productive during the school day, but as it was a Friday, I set the goal to do one piece of homework instead of pushing it all until Sunday night.

I wish I could say I met this goal. I really meant to do it, but I was thrown into a sad spiral after I found out The Harbinger’s three day trip to New York was cancelled because of COVID-19. It was a mess of a day, but I eventually did gather the strength to go to robotics, so at least I made an appearance. 

Day 4

This day wasn’t so much a procrastination struggle, as a planning struggle. After school, I stayed for a Harbinger editors’ meeting and then went straight to my friend’s house to judge a cupcake baking competition.

Afterwards, I got home exhausted. The time change had just happened and as an introvert, this amount of socializing for essentially 10 hours straight including school wore me down. I ate dinner, and then went out with my other friends to celebrate the Worm Moon. Again, this was a necessity. 

Coming home after 9, I was understandably exhausted. I struggled on my homework and spent nearly an hour with my brother helping me learn calculus. 

It wasn’t the best day for me in terms of not procrastinating, but it was the best day in terms of my mood so at least there was that.

Day 5

I woke up sick, so I stayed home from school. I can’t say I was actually productive in the morning and early afternoon, but to be fair, I was sick.

By 4 pm., I was working on some of the work I missed in class that day and prepping the homework due tomorrow. I was actually doing pretty well until I had to go to dinner. This isn’t super surprising though, as it’s always hard for me to return to a task after I’m interrupted.

I decided to procrastinate by making myself useful and picking up my brother from a school event, partly so I could leave the house for the first time that day and partly so I didn’t have to return to my homework.

When I got back, I called my co-editor Gabriela and we worked on Harbinger for about 50 minutes. Having her on the phone forced me to be productive, which was nice. It also helped me put off doing my other homework.

After that call, I found out the next (and possibly final) robotics event I was going to was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. I then wasted like an hour lamenting to my mom about how my senior year was falling to tiny bits right in front of me. She finally forced me back on track and I continued to work.

As I said, interruptions and transitions are really hard for me. I decided to get ready for bed before doing my make-up work for psychology. Somehow this took me wayyyyyyyyy longer than it should’ve, and by the time I started my psychology work, it was past midnight.

Though I had plenty of time to complete my work, I still ended up going to bed at 1 am. At least this time I finished all my work (besides psychology studying). Not really a win for not procrastinating, but the fact that I was able to finish the work at all was victory enough at this point.

Lessons learned

Through this experience, it’s clear to me that procrastination plays a larger role in my life than I’d like to admit.

I think just telling myself “I won’t procrastinate this week” wasn’t enough. I think if I really want to change my habits, I need to get down to the core of why I don’t want to procrastinate anymore. Otherwise, I don’t have motivation to do it.

Simply put, my reasons are that I want to go to bed before midnight and I don’t want to feel the impending doom of homework hanging over my head at all times. I think aiming for these goals would put me in a better spot instead of simply saying I won’t procrastinate.