How To Stop Procrastinating

The phrase “do your work early” is easier said than done. Many students cannot stop pushing things until later even though they know it is bad for them.

Lancy Shi

The phrase “do your work early” is easier said than done. Many students cannot stop pushing things until later even though they know it is bad for them.

Lancy Shi, Photojournalist

Procrastination is something that countless students struggle with. Typically, students like to wait until the night before the due date to cram all of their assignments and try to finish them. This is extremely harmful and can lead to loss of sleep as well as additional stress. The main problem is not that students aren’t aware of the issue, but that they don´t know the right steps to take to break out of the habit. And the truth is, procrastination is a psychological thing that isn’t just a simple habit that can easily be broken off.

Firstly, it is important to know why we procrastinate. When asked about how to stop procrastination, Constantine Sayasith (10) said “to prioritize school work first and fun comes later”. This is a fact that everyone who procrastinates knows, yet they still continue to do it. Why? Because procrastination has nothing to do with laziness.  Even though you can stop procrastination with help, this so-called “help” isn’t what most people assume it is. Procrastination is a problem due to emotional distress, and it is a “coping” mechanism for many students. According to Dr. Sirois from the University of Sheffield, “The thoughts we have about procrastination typically exacerbate our distress and stress, which contribute to further procrastination” (

People who procrastinate feel terrible while they are doing it. They are never in a relaxed state because they are constantly thinking about so many tasks that it overwhelms them to a point where they feel it is best to just lie down and do it later. According to Dr Hershfield from the New York Academy of Science, “we perceive our ‘future selves’ more like strangers than as parts of ourselves” ( Simply put, people don’t like to envision the future of themselves because subconsciously they know that if they don’t finish these assignments, they will most likely fail the class. It is better to just leave it for their future self to deal with.

So how can you stop? The only way to stop is to sort through your personal and emotional issues first. Many students don’t realize how important mental and physical health is since all they are thinking of is their school work. Breaking off the habit of procrastination isn’t something that will happen overnight, since most people who do it have other issues in their life that they have not sorted out yet. One thing students can do is to take a gap year to truly distress and desensitize themselves from all the stress that school creates. Another good idea is to get a therapist who can sort through your problems with you. The wellness specialist, Mrs. Heim (Staff), will be more than happy to help students who are struggling. Eventually, once you feel alive and mentally well again, procrastination won’t be a problem.

Overall, it is important for the students attending YLHS to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Everyone is aware that high school is difficult, and it is crucial that students understand the root of their procrastination habit. Taking it slowly and steadily with help from professionals will eventually lead you to not only feel better, but also do well in school overall.