A new school year has started, and once again the project of science fairs has come up. My first reaction was always to put it off, the same for any big paper for language arts or history. I knew that I could get the work done at the last minute and get by. One day I had to write a paper for my health class and my teacher assigned me the topic of procrastination. I laughed and thought I’d do what I always did – wait until the last minute and write like crazy.
I waited and waited to get started. Other tests came up, and I had other things to do. The weekend before the paper was due I started researching the topic, and I learned something that I knew all along: procrastination is bad for you.
When you wait to start an assignment, especially a big one like a science fair project, it takes a toll on your health. Stress chemicals released to get you motivated cause damage that scientists are just now starting to understand. And mentally, waiting makes the things you are delaying seem bigger. The assignment itself is the same, but psychologists have found that the added time pressure magnifies the perceived difficulty of the assignment. Why make a hard assignment harder by waiting? That’s just not a smart thing to do!
Science fair projects aren’t like a report. It takes time to collect data, analyze the data, and think about what the results mean. Like my mom says, “No matter how much you want a cake; you can’t bake it in 20 minutes, even if you turn up the heat!” Some things really can’t be rushed.
And like another bad habit, smoking, procrastination is habit-forming. So don’t play the waiting game and get ahead by starting on that tough assignment today!