MARQUETTE – Procrastination is a problem for a lot of people. They find themselves starting out with good intentions, but somewhere, somehow, they allow themselves to be sidetracked and put off completing projects until the last minute.
Barbara Quick, the coordinator of Academic Support Services at Northern Michigan University, said, “It’s a very common problem, but there are things you can do to counteract it and be more effective.”
She suggests a seven-day plan to improve time-management skills, just in time for National Procrastination Week, which begins March 7.
· Monday: Make it Meaningful
Write down why the job is important and how you will benefit from doing it.
· Tuesday: Take it Apart
Break big jobs into small jobs that you can accomplish in 15 minutes or less, so you can see your progress.
· Wednesday: Write an Intention Statement
Write a statement describing one of the small tasks and keep it somewhere you will see it often, so you will remember to do it. For example, write a note that reads, “Balance checkbook,” and put it in the front part of your wallet.
· Thursday: Tell Everyone
Tell people what you intend to do so they can support you.
· Friday: Find a Reward
Give yourself a reward for accomplishing a task. A reward must be something you can withhold from yourself if you do not earn it.
. Saturday: Settle It Now
When you feel yourself procrastinating, plunge into the task and savor finishing it.
· Sunday: Say No
Say “no” when you notice yourself making a task a low-priority and re-examine the purpose of doing it.
For high school and college students, Quick recommends visiting the Study Guides and Strategies web site at www.studygs.net.