Last year, I struggled with a very common problem: procrastination. I consistently put almost all of my responsibilities off until the last minute. Since I still completed most of what I had to do relatively well, I assumed that procrastination was my ally. But my constant fatigue told a different story.
It wasn’t until I started working at my university that I admitted procrastination was doing me more harm than good.
In my role as a Work/Study Peer, I lead academic skills-based workshops for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. One of the workshop topics that I cover concerns time management and the threat that procrastination poses to it.
There is a point in the workshop where I ask how many people struggle with procrastination. Almost every hand shoots up. Whether pulling unproductive all-nighters or spending hours futilely cramming, almost all of us have been there.
Procrastination is a way out of our long list of responsibilities. However, we have to get through these responsibilities at some point and if we wait until the last moment, we most likely won’t be putting in our best work.
In his homily during Mass on Jan. 12, Pope Francis addressed the importance of spending our time wisely in order to secure our spots in Heaven. He stressed that we need to make a conscious effort to do the right thing during our relatively short “today” on Earth to ensure an eternally favourable “tomorrow” in Heaven.
The first step to overcoming my own battle with procrastination was to identify my priorities. I thought about what and who were worthy of my time. Based on these priorities, I developed concrete short- and long-term goals.
Next, I acknowledged my time-wasters. We all have them, from endlessly scrolling through social media to spending hours binge-watching our favourite shows. If it doesn’t help you achieve your goals, then it shouldn’t take up a significant amount of your time.
Time management is all about balance and being realistic. No one can regularly spend several straight hours doing the same task without growing to resent it. This is why we need to treat ourselves every so often. Whether it’s going to the gym or playing the piano, we need to take care of our bodies and minds to avoid burnout.
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus isn’t an all-work-and-no-play kind of person. He wants us to lead happy lives full of beautiful experiences.
With the help of to-do lists, calendars and loved ones who hold me accountable, I’m motivated to keep up with my responsibilities because I see the purpose of everything I do.
(Loduca, 20, is a third-year education student with a major/minor in English and French at York University in Toronto.)