Focus, Focus, Focus,

“I have three weeks to complete this report,” said Chet as he glanced over the instructions for the project. “No reason to stress out on this one.” He tossed it on top of a stack of papers on his desk.

Three days before the task was due, he clawed through piles of paper searching for the instructions. “Man! I’ve done it again!” Chet muttered. “I’ll have to work straight through to get this one finished.”

Focus 1: Procrastination

• Is your focus on completing high school assignments and senior projects, or do you set them aside to start later.

• Do you loose one or more nights sleep to finish assignments or study for a test?

• Does it seem impossible to juggle the requirements to finish high school and apply for college acceptance?

• What about your time with the Lord? It’s easy to say, “I’ll do my devotions tonight,” but do you fall asleep instead?

Experts have found underlying causes for procrastinating; the fear of failure, disorganized in work habits and not understanding how to prioritize assignments and other activities.1 You may want to put off the work until you have more time, you are in a better frame of mind, or the work will be less overwhelming.2

You need to be realistic when determining how long it will take to complete a project. Decide if the assignment can be divided into smaller sections, allowing time for meals, sleep and relaxation. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign reports, “Perfectionistic or extremely strict expectations may cause you to rebel or may sabotage your progress."3

Graduating high school, choosing a career and college can be exciting, but stressful too. Don’t let procrastination control how you deal with your responsibilities.

Focus on overcoming your procrastination. Next week won’t do. Today is the time to start. Procrastination, if not corrected, will follow you through the rest of your life.

Focus 2: Computer Games

The variety of computer games available on the internet is a huge attraction to students of all ages, and many are addicted to this pastime. Studies have shown that high school students are entering college with lower SAT scores and lower high school grades because of playing video games for 5-8 hours every day.

Colleges are sending out academic warning letters to parents alerting them that their children are failing to meet the necessary requirements to stay in college. This is mainly due to the number of hours students spend gaming instead of completing their assignments.4

Focus 3: Social Media

Social media seemed like a perfect answer to keeping in touch with friends and family members, and it’s the primary way young people communicate. However, for many, social media has replaced traditional conversations. The University of Chicago did a study and found that addiction to social media is similar to that of cigarettes and alcohol.5

A high school basketball coach noticed the boys on the team were texting their teammates during practice time instead of talking to them in person. “The ability to communicate effectively face-to-face for many young people is falling by the wayside,” Kelman said. “As a result, many teens aren’t learning verbal diplomacy or how to resolve conflict or talking things out.”6

There are numerous pitfalls to avoid through life, and many of these begin during high school and college. Procrastination, video games and social media affects your grades, quality of your work and your emotional and physical health are compromised.

Setting boundaries on time spent on gaming and social media is vital for a balanced lifestyle.

These fun activities can ambush you at any point, but you have a choice. Do you focus on you responsibilities and what needs to be done now, or do you allow yourself to be undisciplined, unorganized and in constant stress? It’s time to focus on changing damaging behaviors. How we spend our time is important. God’s Word says,

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”7

© Barbara Lighthizer

1 “Learn about Procrastination,” by John M. Grohol, Psy.D., January 10, 2005: (Internet) hhp://

2 “Getting Help for Procrastination,” by John M. Grohol, Psy.D., January 10, 2005; (Internet) http:/

3 “Overcoming Procrastination,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Counseling Center, 2007: (Internet)

4 “Students and Video Game Addiction,” by Anonymous; December 13, 2012.  Internet:

5 “Doctors treating patients for social media addiction,” by Staff, February 12, 2013; (Internet) abc;

6 The Oregonian newspaper (Argus), March 8, 2013; “For high school teams, digital technology can lead to communication barrier.”

7 I Colossians 3:17; NKJ.