Why Putting Off Work Doesn’t Work

Thinking of procrastinating?  Think again.

Putting off work is a natural part of being a human.  If it’s not due tomorrow, then we tend to rely on the “it can wait” excuse. But, as we’re in the middle of midterms at most of our partner schools, we decided to try and give our students some food for thought.

We know that you’ve probably heard a million times that waiting to the last minute is not a sustainable strategy, but have you ever thought to why?  Below, we outline why all-nighters can have lasting, and quite detrimental, effects on your grade.

  • You’re underestimating the difficulty of the assignment – Often times, our brains make research papers or tests seem overly simplistic to justify our procrastination.  But, there’s a reason why your professor has allowed 2 weeks to put a paper together, or announced a test way in advance.  They know the pressure college students are under, and they’re trying to give you the benefit of starting early and saving you stress.  You may not know how intense a project will be until you start!
  • Running out of time – When most professors set a deadline, they often have stiff penalties for handing your work in late.  If you don’t have a great grasp on the project or you aren’t great at budgeting your time, you could be playing with fire as you near the deadline.  Nothing is worse than realizing that your hard work will be lowered by half a grade for turning in a paper 30 minutes late!
  • You don’t work well under pressure – It’s true, and don’t let upperclassmen tell you otherwise!  If someone spends one night on a paper or preparing for a test, they may get a decent grade….but it will still pale in comparison to the grade that they COULD have achieved.
  • You will not have time to check over your work – Your assignment may have great ideas and make some great points, but if it’s littered with spelling and grammar mistakes it’s sure to get a less-than-stellar grade from your professor.  Spelling and grammar set the tone for the paper and your arguments, and if you don’t have that extra hour to carefully check over your work, it’ll keep you from realizing your potential grade.

Readers, do you (or did you) procrastinate when a deadline approaches?  Did you use any strategies to help prevent yourself from putting off the work?  Tell us in the comments!

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