Journey back to the 1200’s with me.
We go to a time where royalty ruled from their luscious thrones while their peasants slaved away in the
heat just to survive. They worked all day just for royalty to come and take almost everything they have.
A peasant was anything but lazy.
Now look at our classes where few students excel while the rest of us slave away to get Cs. Small
assignments are ignored in our mad dash to survive. We blow off small quizzes telling ourselves “they’re
only worth 2%”. We don’t understand that this is the very thing that causes us to fall behind. It cascades
to more stress and worse results on large assessments. More on managing stress
This is the crushing effect of study procrastination.
Can you see the difference between us modern academic peasants and those of old? If a peasant
procrastinated, they LITERALLY DIED. Therefore, the only solution to study procrastination is DEATH!
For better or for worse, that approach is unsustainable. The idea of a mild punishment, however, can
provide an effective driving force to study for even the small things. More on procrastination
Here’s a strategy I have developed that works every time:
1. Pick a something you need to study that you have been putting off.
2. Assign a measurable goal to it. (e.g. minimum 75% on quiz, 2 hours of studying per day, review
chapters 3-4 before Thursday, etc.) How to make a study plan
3. Find a friend who you can trust and can keep you accountable.
4. Choose a dollar amount* that you would rather not part with. It should be enough to make you
uncomfortable to lose. Getting motivated to study
5. Give your trusted friend that amount on the condition that if you achieve the goal, they give it
back to you in full. If you fall short, they keep it and do with it what they please. (In the past if I
fall short but still show I gave an honest effort; my friend uses the money to do something with
the two of us, so I am not completely crushed)
Like a peasant living in medieval times, the fear of losing something drives you in a way that no amount
of self talk can. A 2% quiz that is worth $20, $50, even $500, is now a serious thing that you literally
cannot afford to blow off. It places a high priority on the small items, forcing you to stay on top of your
This is my cure for procrastination. I apply it to every aspect of my life whenever I feel a lack of
motivation to do something that I know I should be doing. From studying to going to the gym to eating
healthy, the applications are endless. It will make you less of a spectator in your own life and more the
person who’s driving things to happen.
*If money is not something you have or value, substitute it for something you do. Your candy stash,
phone, favourite sweaters, or anything that you don’t want to lose.
Written by Spencer Teetaert
2018-2019 Scholarship Essay