Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Insert Title at a Later Date: A Guide to Procrastination in Three Easy Steps

Procrastination:The art of putting off that which should be done today but can be done tomorrow. I would like to say that I am the type of person who completes a task the first chance I get after receiving it. Unfortunately, I am not. I like to think that I work best under pressure and I give myself that excuse to wait until the very last minute to get the job done. Not everyone is capable of pulling off starting and completing a project in one setting at the last minute, but when you are as highly trained in the art of procrastination as I am, it’s a much easier task than it seems. The following are my notes on the process.

Let’s begin at what I will call Day One. Day One is the date at which you receive a given assignment. I’ll use my most recent psychology project as an example. Two weeks ago, I received the assignment sheet for my psychology project, in which I was instructed
to identify a specific psychological disorder, define the disorder, describe symptoms, and explain a few different treatments for the disorder. There is quite a bit of research involved in this assignment. However, being a procrastinator, I followed the first general rule of
procrastination: I placed my assignment sheet in a notebook stating that I would work on it when I got home. When I got home, I left my backpack in my car and rather than attempting to work on the project, I decided to get online and check my email. The following school day, I
was reminded of the project when the assignment sheet fell out of my notebook at the beginning of class. Siting the fact that there is little that I could do with it at that exact point in time, I returned the sheet to its original position in my notebook, thus repeating the
beginning of the procrastination process.

Skipping ahead to Day Ten, I have repeated my patented process of procrastination to the T up
until this point. A key factor to mention in this process is the slow build up of stress involved: as time moves closer to the due date, the stress built up is directly proportional to the amount of work done, or lack thereof rather. To put it mildly, at this point the heat is on –
but we’re not really cooking yet. This project isn’t actually due until Day Fifteen. Keeping in step with the unwritten Procrastinator’s Handbook, rather than starting the project I promise myself that I will begin the project the following day and keep myself up half the night worrying about it rather than actually beginning any form of actual work. This part of the process is thusly repeated for two to three days.

Upon the onset of Day Fourteen, my situation has come to a head. So far, my efforts of inducing the maximum amount of pressure have been successful. I am now in the best work state that I could possibly find: it is 11:30 pm the night before my project is due, my head is about to explode from the stress of waiting so long, and my family has picked this exact moment in time to pester me with anything and everything they can possibly imagine. This is where the magic happens. After screaming at my family for ten minutes to quiet down or leave, I sit at my computer with smoke billowing from my ears and nostrils. As quickly as I possibly can, I hurriedly piece together just above the minimum amount of information needed to complete my project.

In finally completing my task, more often than not I discover that the information wasn’t really all that hard to find, it wasn’t difficult in the slightest to write out a meaningful and comprehensive essay on said information, and although I am relieved to have it done I am also most of the time disappointed that I waited so long to do so. The frustration and stress from following this process of procrastination has likely taken years off of my life. But, I can always rationalize that the years taken will be the ones at the end – the hurried, frustrated, stress-filled times that will inevitably be so because of my overall procrastination in life.


Shraddha said...

very nicely put!I enjoyed reading your post!


Anonymous said...

I'm like that too. Then I reliaze, why did I wait all this time to do this.

Anonymous said...

LMAO!!!!!!! Yes, another nail on the head!

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