Organize, don’t procrastinate

Everyone is always putting down procrastinators, telling them they are lazy and unmotivated.
But what about when that person scores A’s and B’s on those tests, or papers? Everyone has seen this, I think. I know I have. I will even let you in on a secret of mine — this has been me.
I am not an advocate for procrastination. I don’t even like doing it — procrastination stresses me out.
The things I usually procrastinate on are big projects or papers longer than one-page. I worry that what I have to say or what I think about something is not going to be good enough for the teacher. So I will do the reading, I will do all the research, I will get prepared, but won’t follow through with writing until the night before, or even once or twice the day of.
But I usually don’t get less than a “C” on papers and tests.
Can you say (honestly) that in your life you have never put something off because you did not want to do it? I think everyone is actually a procrastinator.
I believe the difference between me and those who have the paper finished a week (if not more) ahead of time and are on their fifth draft is that they are more organized and disciplined than me.
However, I know that if you ask them they will tell you they, too, struggled with wanting to do other things than write the paper.
These “organizational masters” used to annoy the heck out of me and make me feel stupid — not because they said anything to me —but because they had finished and I had not.
Yet I would get a B and they got an A.
I am not any better than they are at paper writing or test taking, and the only thing they did different from me to get that better grade involves organization and discipline.
The key to unlocking the grade of A is time-management. Get the thing done early, and you have more time to revise, study and understand your material. Just think about your last test or paper: had you spent just one more hour on study or paper writing do you think your grade would have been different?
I knew that when I returned to LMC this fall this procrastination issue was going to kill my GPA if I did not get a handle on it. I also decided that anything less than a B as a final grade is not something I will accept from myself, so I read a book on how to become an A student.
The book is literally titled “How to Become a Straight-A Student” by Cal Newport.
I learned so much about myself from reading this book.
The biggest take-away I got out of it is that I am not a B or C student, I am an A student who has put a bunch of stupid things ahead of getting better grades. I mean, does it really matter if I see that post on Facebook my friend told me to go look at? At least, does it matter that I look at it before I get that assignment finished?
Or study for that test? I know now that it doesn’t.
Everyone struggles with procrastination, you just need to have the discipline and give-a-darn to get things done in a timely manner. Once I understood that time-management and disciple were my areas of struggle, I was armed with the power to overcome those issues.
What is keeping you from being an A student?
Cal Newport believes that anyone can become an A student, and I believe it too.
I am not an organizational master yet, but I know that practice makes perfect, and that LMC is the place where students learn to succeed.