Stay focused to avoid procrastination

For some students, going to the library to work is one way to stay focused and avoid procrastination –Kelli Leong

Many people do it, whether they intend to or not.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something.

It often happens when you need to do something important. We choose what’s simpler and fun, rather than long strenuous hours of studying or doing homework or whatever the case may be. 

Ana Sileli, a student at Hawai‘i Medical College, said she ʻʻbecomes tired from a long day at school and work that she never has free time for herself to enjoy,” which causes her to procrastinate.

Former WCC student Liliani Mafua said, “I’ll usually look at the workload and start planning in my head the number of days and hours I have until the assignment is due. After I do that, I’ll start on pieces of the work then put it off until the day before or the day it’s due … Even though I procrastinate, I make sure it’s A-worthy.”

Dr. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, wrote a story on the American Psychological Association website entitled “Psychology of Procrastination: Why People Put Off Important Tasks Until the Last Minute,” in which he said, “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.’ We all put tasks off, but my research has found that 20 percent of U.S. men and women are chronic procrastinators. They delay at home, work, school and in relationships. These 20 percent make procrastination their way of life … ”

To avoid procrastination, it can be helpful to find a place where you can focus on the work at hand.

 WCC student Christin Arakaki said, “I would get rid of all distractions and put it all away, especially my phone.”

You can also surround yourself with people who motivate you to do your best and make study dates with friends. Meet up with a tutor to get the extra help if needed.

WCC student Emmanuela Orbito said, “If it (an assignment) is due two weeks from now, I would go to the library and surround myself with people who are studying as well for motivation. Use your planner to make sure you know when it’s due.”

The main thing is to focus on what’s going to help you be productive and successful.

While often seen as a distraction, Dr. Ferrari said that even technology can be used to avoid procrastination.

“We don’t have to surf the Web for hours on irrelevant tasks. We can get systems that time us out after 10 minutes … Use technology as a tool, not as a means of delay.”

by Dazolyn Burrows-Kamakeeaina, Kelli Leong and Sifoni Mafua, Special to Ka ‘Ohana