Step Four in Managing Your Time: Avoid Pitfalls

Student Dialog - Procrastination

Brian: Well, at least I have a lot of time to complete my semester paper in English. It's not due until after the break.

Deena: Have you started it yet?

Brian: No, it can wait.

Deena: Now that kind of procrastination really stresses me out. I never know when something new will crop up with the family or the farm.

Brian: So, by putting off writing the paper, I'm creating a lot more stress for myself?

Deena: Probably. To write a paper you have to do some research and preparation, right? That takes time. So, the sooner you get started, the easier it is.

Brian: You know, when I start to really think about everything I have to get done, I become overwhelmed.

Deena: Right. And there are actually a few things you can do to avoid pitfalls.

Brian and Deena talking.

 

Skills for Time Management

The last item on the four-part list of skills for time management is avoiding pitfalls. To a great extent, avoiding pitfalls amounts to avoiding procrastination and time wasters, as well as ways to make study time more effective and efficient.

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Time Wasters

If you were to monitor your time for a day you would be sure to find at least one, or maybe even more, time wasters. A time waster is something that occurs in the day that is not necessary to your day; if it did not occur, you could have probably gotten something else done in its place. A time waster prevents you from accomplishing some goal. The two main time wasters are watching television and talking on the phone. It is important to recognize time wasters so that you can make good use of your time. What are some of your favorite ways to waste time?

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Procrastinating

If you have ever said one of the above or something quite similar, you have most likely been dealing with procrastination.

 

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task, which needs to be accomplished. It has a high potential for painful consequences. This can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt among students. It interferes with the academic and personal success of students.

 

Why do students procrastinate?

Procrastination means not managing your time wisely. You may be uncertain of your priorities, goals, and objectives. Therefore, you keep putting off your academic assignments to a later date. Students also procrastinate because of personal problems, boring tasks, fear of failure, unrealistic expectations, and perfectionism. You may have difficulty concentrating, and waste time daydreaming and staring into space instead of completing the task. You could be overwhelmed with the task and afraid of getting a failing grade. As a result, you spend a great deal of time worrying about your upcoming exams, papers and projects, rather than completing them.

 

Overcoming procrastination