Golden path to stress paved with procrastination, ‘Netflix’, ‘We TV’

Antonina Johnston

by Kristen Buster
The clock strikes 12 a.m., and I still have an English paper to write. My computer mocks me with its overly white screen. The furthest I have gotten was a witty intro that had no relation to the topic of women’s rights.
We’ve all been at the point where the amount of overdue work is so great that it’s easier just to keep putting it off, but as that clock ticked on, my stress level continued to rise. My bag of Cheetos was shockingly empty. I achieved no comfort from the comfort food and it was finished. I’ve been in this situation more than I’d like to admit, but eventually the work gets done.
Of students, 80 to 90 percent procrastinate, according to “Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 133, No. 1.” It seems with that high of numbers, someone would have thought of a product by now to help with procrastination.
Until then, I’m left with just the essentials: tea with honey, a study playlist full of upbeat music, a comfy blanket and chocolate to motivate me. Lots and lots of chocolate.
I’m also the type of person who works better with a lot of white noise. So usually I’ll turn on the television in the background. I make sure never to turn on something I’m interested in or it’ll end up distracting me instead of encouraging me. I have the bad habit of completing a show’s whole season in one night once I’m hooked. We TV is always my channel of choice.
Multitasking has become a big problem. With high speed internet, it’s not hard to switch from social media site to homework to music in a matter of seconds. It may seem like a helpful ability, but in reality, it’s doing more harm than good.
Scientists found that switching focus on different tasks at rapid speeds slows down the ability to process the information. In the long run, it will end up taking more time for a person to do a task because their brain can no longer process that information as quickly. It is so used to switching. According to National Public Radio, multitasking also creates shorter attention spans.
One time, on a dreary Sunday afternoon, I was finally going to start on a book assignment that was two class periods overdue. It was 5 p.m., and I figured I had an hour to waste before I had to get started, which was a mistake of its own. I watched one episode of “Rupauls Drag Race” and was hooked. I must have made it through two full seasons before I looked at the clock again. It was 2 a.m. and the furthest I’d gotten on my paper was a title. Netflix is my kryptonite.
I learned to work for what I enjoy most. This happened because I was spending way too much time on the internet instead of my homework. It got to the point where I would create multiple DIY projects, leaving my room in a jumbled mess and my homework untouched.
So instead of staying up way too late, browsing sites that had no significance in my life, I allowed myself an hour on the computer if I got all my homework done first. This way I went to bed on time, while getting my homework done and not flooding my brain with useless information.
I also motivate myself with things I’ve been wanting for a while. Whether it is a new shirt or a new movie, making myself work for something I originally wanted allows me to relieve the stress of school work and still gain what I really wanted. I came upon this plan because I found myself spending my entire paycheck within 24 hours of getting my money.
I’d reward myself with one clothing purchase after I finished my homework. This helps keep my grades up in addition to my bank statement. I’ve also noticed I don’t want as much stuff if I wait; it no longer becomes impulse buying, but simply becomes items I genuinely want.
Sometimes it’s just easier to push it off and let my future self deal with the stress of overdue projects. But those grades that didn’t seem so important at first will suddenly become real when I’m sending them off to colleges.
So, as the pressure of finals pushes into us this coming week, instead of being stressed over silly things, like that take home quiz that was due two months ago and seems to be bringing my grade down 5 percentage points, I’ve learned to motivate myself in ways that work for me. I’ve become less stressed because of it.
By Nina Johnston