‘I’ll do it later’

Academic Support Team helps with organization skills

Gabriella Vulakh, Web Editor

With school, swim practice and constant online distractions, sophomore Isabella Ritchie is working towards finding new study habits to accomplish her piles of to-do lists.

Ritchie is one of the 95 percent of students who procrastinate regularly, according to the American Psychological Association.

“I start the day with a whole plan, but then it just doesn’t happen because I get preoccupied,” Ritchie said. “It makes me really stressed because eventually everything gets pushed back farther and farther until the day before it’s due and I am forced to do all of my work.”

Convent & Stuart Hall Executive Functioning Coach Eli Kramer, who is introducing a new study system meant to help students with organizing their work, says the fundamental reasoning behind procrastination is that people have multiple projects and tasks they have to complete and do not know where to begin.

“People will make a to-do list but not make a crucial distinction between tasks they can do in one step and projects that require a bunch of planning,” Kramer said. “If you are able to brainstorm projects out into a bunch of different tasks, then you can get a series of shorter things done in a planned way, so you do not plow through something all at once.”

Many students such as junior Abby Widjanarko record assignments in a traditional paper planner, while others prefer to use digital programs such as My Study Life, which allows users to calendarize and organize homework, exams and class schedules while also tracking the percentage of completion.

“I like having a piece of paper where I can physically check things off as I go,” Widjanarko said. “Even if it is something really minuscule that I have to do, I write it down just so that I don’t forget.”

Varying activity between academically rigorous work, such as drawing, exercising or meditating can help improve focus and attention span, according to Kramer.

“I take breaks in between my work because it helps me calm down and refocus,” freshman Madison Kwan said. “I do geometry first because it takes longest for me, and then I do any other classes I have homework in.”

In an effort to prevent procrastination, freshmen and sophomores are working with Kramer and the Academic Support Team through December on organizational strategies and work habits, specifically utilizing Google Drive.

“I am looking forward to working with Mr. Kramer because I have been meaning to find a specific way to start organizing my life,” Ritchie said. “I have tried making lists and giving myself little rewards, like a break or piece of candy after completing a difficult assignment, but those usually do not work. Hopefully, this new system will have positive results.”