Tom Tom Tries: Not procrastinating for one week

We wrote a story about trying to complete a week without procrastinating… Never mind, we will post it later.

Seeing+all+the+work+that+needs+to+be+done+in+one+spot+can+make+it+difficult+to+begin.+By+writing+the+tasks+down+or+seperating+the+work+load%2C+completing+those+assignments+can+be+that+much+easier.

Ashley Lubkeman

Seeing all the work that needs to be done in one spot can make it difficult to begin. By writing the tasks down or seperating the work load, completing those assignments can be that much easier.

Procrastination is something we are all told to avoid. High school is probably not the place to procrastinate, as you will quickly be drowning in homework. But how many students actually take care of their responsibilities right away? The average student waits until the night before any assignment to get it done. It raised a question for us: how would the week look if we did our work right away instead of waiting until the last minute? To answer this, we tried a week of not procrastinating on anything, including homework, chores and college applications. 

Sunday

Ashley:

Sunday was pretty easy for me; it was a rainy day, so I felt motivated to be inside without the temptation of finding something to do outside. I sat and finished my AP Government packet instead. I had also completed most of my weekend work the night before or throughout the week,  so I made starting the week pretty easy for myself.

Emma:

I am going to be completely honest: I failed the first day. I was gone from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. When I got home, I was exhausted. I could have worked on my AP Government study guide when I got home, but I watched television and went to sleep instead. I hope to do better the rest of the week.

Monday

Ashley:

Monday was also pretty easy because it was the start of the week, and the homework had not started piling up. One thing that made this experiment difficult was the line for what was considered procrastinating or not. When you are in multiple higher-level classes, teachers have fewer deadline structures, and it is more up to the individual to set their own timeline per unit. For example, I could not decide if I had to do my AP Psychology flashcards this night because, while I did not have it on my nightly list of assignments to complete, they would be due in a few weeks and I would have to continue working on them eventually. I decided to dedicate the next free day I had to the flashcards and assigned them to Tuesday night along with any free time I had during that class.

Emma:

Monday felt more natural as far as getting work done. I used my study hall period to get a head start on my homework for the day. When I got home, I began to look at schoolwork instead of going on TikTok for 20 minutes. I was not the biggest fan of starting my homework right away, but it was nice to get it done early.

Tuesday

Ashley:

I felt pretty productive on Tuesday. I knew I had to pick my sister up from the school around 6 p.m., and if I went home, I would use that as an excuse to sit around and do nothing until then; I ended up going to Little Bean and working on Tom Tom and AP Psychology until they closed at 5 p.m. I waited until later that night to finish AP Literature, complete the FAFSA and continue finalizing my college list. By trying to not procrastinate, it made me honest with myself about when and where I get my work done. I know I am less likely to finish it at my house, so seeking out a place with fewer distractions and with the purpose of completing homework not only helped me get it done, but I felt more productive to go home and finish what I had left. I went to the main street coffee shop, but the commons, Homework Hangouts and the ILC are quiet places that do not even require leaving the school.

Emma:

I knew from the start that Tuesday would be my most difficult day. I have work on Tuesdays right after school until 9 p.m. On an average Tuesday, when I get home from work, I make my lunch for the next day and go to sleep. Sadly, this was not an option today. To start, I got done with my AP Government test early. Instead of just sitting there, I worked on one of my college applications and was able to get a whole essay done. Later, in Tom Tom, I got done with my work early, so I had free time. Typically, I would probably scroll through TikTok or Instagram if I got done early; instead, I worked on my AP Statistics homework and was able to get it done during the class period. Later that night, when I got home from work, I studied for my AP Literature exam–something that I would not have usually done. I felt extremely exhausted by the end of the night but simultaneously productive.

Wednesday

Ashley:

Unsurprisingly, Wednesday was so relaxing due to the work I put in on Tuesday. I had very few tasks to do, and it made me feel better about getting to the weekend, knowing that countless assignments would not swamp me. One thing I notice that always helps me get work done is utilizing a checklist. I love to use the iPhone app Reminders. Being able to check off a task when I finish motivates me to accomplish more. It always helps me manage and organize what I need to do. Trying to remember all of my homework in each of my classes can cause me to forget some assignments, and writing it all down task after task can make it feel overwhelming. By putting it in a checklist, I can see the detailed assignments, map out how much time it will take me and feel more prepared to start.

Emma:

Wednesday was a relatively easy day for me. During AP Government, we had a writing test. When I finished it, instead of relaxing for 15 minutes, I worked on a college application. It was a simple use of my time that I would not often use to my advantage; it allowed me to use my study hall to finish my application to the University of Illinois. In physics, I was assigned a lab report. When I got home from school, I began working on it until I had to go to marching band practice. I was able to have a relaxing night when I got home instead of doing homework until it was too late.

Thursday

Ashley:

Thursday was one of the most relaxing days I have had leading up to a long weekend. I think part of it had to do with the teachers being lenient with the assembly and excitement for homecoming week, but also the work I had finished throughout the week left me with one page of AP Psychology for the weekend. I took the free time to practice some lighting for photography and just took some fun fall nature shots.

Emma:

Thursday was definitely a busy day. We had shortened class periods and the pep assembly. Since I did not have much time during school to get work done, I went to The Latte Cafe after school to have time dedicated to getting it done. I was certainly more productive being at a coffee shop than I would have been at home. By getting my AP Statistics homework done and getting a head start on my physics report, I went out with friends that night without having anxiety about the work I was procrastinating on.

Friday

Ashley:

Friday was once again an easy day. I spent time with my dog, drove my sister to practice and looked over some photos. It was truly a breeze to have a break day after a long week with so many tests.

Emma:

On Friday, we were off of school for parent-teacher conferences. I took advantage of this and went on a visit to the University of Illinois. During this long drive of over three hours, I worked on my lab report. I definitely was not a fan of doing homework in the car, but it was refreshing to get home after a long day and not have to worry about working on physics. 

Saturday

Ashley:

Saturday was, once again, pretty simple. Most of my time was spent working on the golf parade float. It was the first weekend of the semester where hanging out with my friends and filling my free time were the only tasks on my mind. I knew not procrastinating would have a positive effect, but I was not expecting to have so much free time. When it came around to Sunday, I took five minutes to complete my final page of AP Psychology and was able to put it away in my untouched backpack.

Emma:

Saturday was different than the typical Saturday for me. I had to work at 8:30 a.m., so I brought my Chromebook, got there at 7:45 a.m. and worked on my physics lab report. Normally I would have just sat in the break room on my phone, but instead, I was productive by doing homework. I will continue doing this in the future because I often do not know what to do with myself before work starts.

Takeaways

Ashley:

I knew I was a procrastinator prior to this story; however, I keep good grades and have yet to turn in an assignment late, so I was not expecting this experiment to have much impact. I did not really notice myself being more productive until the weekend. Getting home Friday night and remembering I completed everything was something that made me realize the benefits. I think this week also reminded me how simple most homework assignments are. My brain tends to make me think I will be doing the six assignments in 12 hours when, in reality, it might hardly take one. I will be continuing to make an effort to stop procrastinating following this week.

Emma:

I did not consider myself a procrastinator before this story. As I went through this week, I realized I am. It genuinely took work for me to do homework right as it was assigned or to work on college applications. By having a study hall second hour, procrastinating comes naturally to me. While waiting to do my work felt good, I became able to truly rest and feel relaxed when I got my work done early. I will be trying my best to not procrastinate, even with this week being over.