Procrastination takes back seat

By Cynthia Arias

Staff Writer

The Brookhaven College SkillsShop “One of These Days I’ll Stop Procrastinating— Time Management Skills” was held March 8.

As students filled room S064, counseling intern Danica Martin handed out a worksheet asking for examples of time management strategies. Making a list, keeping a planner and multitasking were common answers. When asked who keeps a planner, a few people raised their hands.

Brookhaven student Lisa Lu said she uses an application on her smartphone. Martin suggested an app called iStudiez Pro for keeping up with assignments and planning. Before continuing with the presentation, she invited students to ask questions.

Martin detailed the four procrastination styles. Dreamers have big goals but rarely develop specific plans. Worriers focus more on potential problems than possible solutions. Deifiers resist new tasks and make promises they do not keep. Overdoers create extra work because they do not set priorities or delegate responsibilities.

 There are several steps to prevent procrastination. One step is breaking tasks into smaller steps. Martin said this tactic helps refresh the mind. Student Angela Lao said, “When I have a tedious task, I find that breaking away from it for just a moment and then coming back to it helps me from losing complete focus of what needs to be completed.”

Another important step Martin emphasized was learning to say no. One student admit- ted that social activities are sometimes the cause of her procrastination. “You can’t do everything with everybody,” Martin said.  She said it is crucial to reevaluate what is important.

As Martin proceeded with the presentation, quite a few students raised their hands when asked who procrastinates. Students agreed it is easy to procrastinate and they may put off doing important tasks for others that are more entertaining. Martin said the reason is instant gratification. For example, students may choose watching television over writing an essay. Students may find it more interesting than doing an assignment.

One student said if her room is messy, she will opt to clean it instead of doing her homework. Other students related to taking on tasks of less priority.

“Many college students say that they procrastinate because it works for them, but that only works until the time comes that it doesn’t,” Martin said.

To help manage time, Martin recommends setting goals. In doing so, she suggests determining whether they are short or long term, and researching how to achieve those goals. Checking the progress toward goals will help determine whether any changes are necessary to achieve them. It is also important to reward oneself upon completion of the goal.

Students received a time management assessment to help determine whether they were really procrastinators and to see how they use their time. On the assessment, several students pointed out they do not get enough sleep or have not found balance in juggling work and school.

Martin suggested making a time monitor log so students could see what they spend too little or too much on and account for any lost time, such as driving to and from school. Several students came to the SkillsShop for extra credit. Student Carla Bishop came for personal benefit. “I have always been a procrastinator,” Bishop said. She looked forward to hearing about time management tips.

Wrapping up the presentation, Martin said to prioritize tasks from most important to least important. Among other strategies, she also mentioned time blocks and passed out a sheet of examples to students.

After the SkillsShop ended, Lao said, “I feel like I learned to be more aware of my time.” Bishop said she definitely will start using a planner. Martin said students are welcome to come to Student Support Services and sit down with her to go over their personal time management strategies.