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How to say good-bye to all-nighters once and for all

Take it from the queen of procrastination. I couldn’t help it, I needed those final hours to be the push for motivation. I would even brag about finishing my papers an hour before class started. My friends didn’t understand how I could wait until the last possible minute and still get good grades. My personal justification was always that my procrastination did not affect the quality of my work. There were times when I would try to start a paper weeks ahead time, only to find myself staring at a blank screen for an inexplicable amount of time.

Why was I like this, and how could I change it?

While this may have worked for the few years I was in college, I was only fooling myself. The day after an all-nighter, I would be completely exhausted and it would throw my entire schedule off. The closer I got to senior year, the harder I could keep up with it and the more I would drag.

It was then that I realized something important about myself: I was okay with sacrifice as long as it only affected myself. While procrastination seemed to provide the motivation I needed, it was also taking away something I needed even more; my health. What I learned from all this, was to treat my wellness the same as any activity. What do I mean? I mean that I needed to start scheduling time for sleep just like I would schedule anything else in the day. It is important to set a schedule for everything (including self-care) and keep busy. If I wouldn’t miss my friend’s birthday party, why should my beauty sleep be any less important?

Once I was able to take a step back and reflect, I realized I was able to get more done when I kept busyIf I only had a set amount of time to complete my tasks, then I would feel the same pressure I did when I used to procrastinate. For example, if I had morning classes, lunch, afternoon classes, soccer practice, and guitar lessons, I knew that the time left over would have to be dedicated to homework and studying. If you make no space for distractions, then you will find yourself avoiding them nearly effortlessly.

Takeaways: What is your personal procrastination – I mean motivation style? Are you the type who works better under pressure? What self-care items should you work on making more time for?

Not sure what type of procrastinator you are? Find out here!


Nicole Santarsiero is  a team member at College Success Arizona.  Nicole has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Religious Studies from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Massachusetts.

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