Recent College Graduate Expert’s Tip of the Month – August

Procrastination is Painful
By Nancy Barry
Author of When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates to Know

Do you tend to procrastinate? Be honest. I’ve done my fair share of procrastinating over the years, and here’s what I’ve learned—it’s not worth it. Have you ever thought about how much mental energy we waste thinking about what we need to do? It would have taken less time and less mental energy if we just did it.

If you’re a procrastinator, try to figure out why. Do you avoid projects that take a lot of time? Or the ones where you don’t have all the information you need to get started? Are you putting it off because you don’t think you have the time to make it perfect?

Procrastination is a survival mechanism to avoid something we fear. The irony is the fear actually builds the longer we procrastinate. So putting it off makes things worse. It’s easy to procrastinate on projects that are so big you don’t have a clue where to start. If you’re assigned a big project, break it down into manageable chunks, so you won’t be overwhelmed by the size of it. Set intermediate deadlines, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the project completed on time.

Procrastination leaves little time for the unexpected—the computer developing an attitude, the printer running out of ink, realizing at the last minute that you don’t have some important information to complete the report. Or what if you get invited to something special and have to decline because you’ve procrastinated on a big project? Make a list of all the things you’ve been putting off. Prioritize the list and do them, one by one. You’ll sleep better at night and be a lot less stressed!

I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email, and let me know what’s on your mind. What topics would you like me to cover in future columns?

~Nancy Barry
Recent College Graduate Expert, Campus Calm

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