Help! How Do I Stop Procrastinating?

Ask Angela Edition I


Dear Angela,

I am in the Remote Academy, and I feel like I am constantly procrastinating during my asynchronous class time. As a result, my work piles up and then I am stressed later because I have to do all the assignments I never completed. Help!

                –   Master Procrastinator


Dear Master Procrastinator,

I think we’re all procrastinating a little more than usual since we have the distractions of our rooms and our things and our families at home! That said, you’re totally right that procrastination creates more stress. I can safely say that the siren call of the cell phone is one of the root causes of procrastination, so try powering off and hiding your phone in a drawer or your closet when you need to get things done. If something else is distracting you, like a really good book or a puzzle, give it the same treatment and hide it or cover it up. Out of sight, out of mind!

Another way to make sure you get all your work done on time is to set yourself clear expectations about what you need to complete during a certain time. Try making a list of all your asynchronous periods and outline in specific terms what needs to get done during each time block. For example, you could write,“Asynchronous science from 12:30-1:15. Fill out the first two sections of the geology project graphic organizer and begin research on sedimentary rocks.” If you begin consistently doing this for all your classes in a separate notebook, I think you’ll find that you’re much more on top of things. Also, make sure that you’re setting clear meal and snack times for yourself throughout your school day so that you’re not hanging around in the kitchen when you should be working. If you need more help with organization or want to find other methods for keeping track of your assignments, ask your teacher or guidance counselor. 

Finally, incentivize yourself! Tell yourself that if you complete all your assignments on time, you’ll have a treat or go do something fun. Plus, the reward of excelling academically and feeling calmer that comes from being organized and focused is wonderful in and of itself. To add one last point, don’t be too hard on yourself! Remote school is far more difficult than regular school, and you have to be easy on yourself when you mess up. Never be embarrassed to ask for help if you need it. Best of luck!

                              –   Angela

Dear Angela,

I’ve been feeling really stressed out lately by the political climate in the country. It feels like everyone has just gone crazy. How can I manage my stress?

                    –   How About Those Politics?


Dear Politics,

Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy the past few weeks. We’re living through a once-in-a-generation confluence of scary events, so it’s not surprising that you’re feeling stressed out by it all. Here are some tips that I hope will help you!

  • Unplug from the media. The way that the news media is designed is to get clicks, views, and big reactions, so it’s natural that you’d feel stressed watching or reading the news. If you get news alerts or e-mails on your phone, try turning them off when you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you or your parents keep cable news on, switch it off. Wherever you get your news, cutting back can help you feel less stressed.
  • Do more of what you love and hang out more with the people you love. Whether it’s art, soccer, writing stories, or listening to music, having a distraction from the craziness of the current political climate is always beneficial to your mental health. It’s not productive to be constantly engaging with the news, so do something you love instead! Additionally, make sure you’re connecting with the people you care about, like friends and family.
  • Talk to someone. Teachers, guardians, guidance counselors, and friends are great outlets for relieving stress. It’s not healthy to keep all your feelings inside, and trusted adults can help clear up misconceptions you may hear in the news and set your mind at ease. Sometimes, you may just want to talk to someone about something fun or happy that has nothing to do with politics, and that’s okay, too!
  • Keep an eye on yourself. Make sure that you’re eating healthy, going outside, drinking plenty of water, and keeping on top of your schoolwork. If you feel like you’re in a really dark place or stressed to a breaking point, talk to a parent/guardian or counselor for help.

Hopefully these tips are useful! So many people in the country are also struggling with political stress, so you’re not alone by any means.

                             –   Angela

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