How Negative Stigma Surrounding Study Breaks is False
The concept of procrastination is often seen as an academic weakness or downfall. But the misunderstanding about procrastination stems from the fact that it has two forms: active and passive, which in moderation can have a positive influence. Active procrastination differs from passive, pushing aside one task in order to complete another; which clears away the unimportant work.
“I get distracted very easily, so I actually procrastinate a lot,” sophomore Josephine Cham said. “I start thinking about different things, and it leads from one thing to another. I’m usually an active procrastinator, so I do the easy stuff first, and then I force myself into doing the hard work.”
However, passive procrastination involves complete inaction, where no work is being done whatsoever.
“We all get into those positions and that funk where we don’t want to do anything,” freshman counselor Mrs. Castellucci said. “I was a big procrastinator, and at one point in my life it was so bad I could not think normally, so I would have to go for a run and plan out my homework in my head first.”
Through the gradual clearing of schedules, active procrastination can lead to the discovery of personal interests.
“You will always want to do what you enjoy first,” Castellucci said. “So when you cross off things on your to-do list, you are left to do the things you hate the most. It is better to get the worst out of the way; I have this saying: ‘Do the things you don’t want to do first, so you can do the things you do want to do.’”
The human brain functions in different sections, with each section responsible for a specific part of the mind. Ceaseless homework and stress overworks the Prefrontal Cortex, which moderates good decision-making and rationality. When tired, this vital part of our brain makes ill-informed decisions and responds.
“Pretty much all our decisions come from the Prefrontal Cortex, behind the forehead,” sophomore Hannah Lee said. “It helps with memory and personality as well, but can get overwhelmed at times and process situations differently.”
The evidence implies that small breaks in between study sessions will not ruin an entire six weeks of focus; in fact, it will help it. Additionally, it gives one time to do hobbies or things you enjoy, if at least for the sake of mental recovery.
“It’s important to take breaks, because we are stuck at school 8 hours a day,” Cham said. “Adults have more freedom than us, in the sense that they don’t have work piling up on them every 45 minutes. It is totally alright to relax a little.”
Taking a break may sound like a waste of precious homework time, but procrastination may help with study block or lack of ideas. So before academic expectations cloud perception, or swarms one with before-the-test anxiety, consider taking a deep breath… and a few minutes off.