Homework issue to procrastinate or just get done

Dear Annie: This is a burning question I’ve had for a while. As a student, I always have homework, but should I procrastinate or spread out the work over a longer period? Both end up with similar results for me.

Procrastinating gives me more time to do the other things I want, and I end up being able to complete my work in a short amount of time just before the deadline. But being “responsible” provides me with a more confident feeling about the results. And what about group projects? How should one go about finishing a group effort with limited time to meet? — Student in New York

Dear Student: When you put off work to go have fun, how much fun do you really have? It’s difficult to fully relax and be present when, in the back of your mind, you know an assignment is due soon. Putting off work might seem to give you more time to do the things you want, but the quality of that time is severely diminished. Plus, you might be a naturally gifted student who can manage to wait till the last minute to do assignments and still get decent grades, but as you grow up, the size of the tasks you face will grow, too, and procrastination will make your life a heck of a lot more difficult. So I encourage you to nip this habit in the bud now.

A few methods for clearing the mental blocks and anxiety that lead to procrastination:

≤ Forget about perfection. It doesn’t exist. Your best is good enough.

≤ Whether you know exactly what you’re doing or not, just get started. You’ll often look back and see that was the hardest part. Planes use the most fuel during takeoff.

≤ Speaking of fuel, you can fuel yourself through work today by imagining yourself tomorrow, free, with your assignment behind you. Picture what you will do and how you will feel.

As for group projects, all of the above applies. Take the initiative; have your group meet up the very first day you’re teamed together, even if it’s just for a brief chat. As a bonus, you might find that taking the initiative in group settings helps you become a more proactive leader to yourself.

Dear Annie: This probably has been addressed before, but I want to bring it up again. I’ve heard people comment about how they’re appalled at folks who use handicapped parking but don’t appear to have issues. For example, someone said he saw someone park in a handicapped spot and then walk away while a friend of his who was in a wheelchair couldn’t find a spot.

To those people who are judging: Sometimes health issues cannot be seen. I have rheumatoid arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis, and walking distances can be difficult, so I do have a handicapped placard. I’m not yet using a walker, though there are days I probably should be. My purpose of this letter is to say, please don’t jump to conclusions. There are many reasons people need handicapped placards besides being in a wheelchair. Yes, there might be those who abuse this, but the percentage is most likely low.

Thank you for allowing me to share this. — Invisible Handicapped Person

Dear Invisible: And thank you for sharing it. Your letter is right on the money, and I hope it will remind people not to jump to judgmental conclusions.

(Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. For information, visit the website at www.creators.com.)

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