I am 21 years old.
I’ve spent a good 16 of those 21 years in school [this includes preschool and kindergarten] and of those 16 years thirteen of them required me to take home work and do it before the next school day. Ever since year one of those 13 years, I have been a chronic procrastinator. I mean using every trick known to man to NOT do my assignments. I’m sure my procrastinating was minimal at first, you know an occasional dilly-dally or two before practicing my cursive letters or my times tables. But as I’ve gotten older my procrastination has only grown worse. I think it’s because the more I dread the work the less likely I am to do it promptly.
Best example thus far is the 23-page report I had due a month ago. When my professor gave me the assignment and told me it was to be 23 pages my jaw dropped. Fortunately, he gave us the rubric and guidelines for the assignment TWO MONTHS in advance so this provided plenty of time for us diligent students to get a head start. The professor even told us “if you wait two nights before this assignment is due it will be very painful for you and probably will end in heartache”. At the professor’s warning I began making and writing down guidelines and deadlines for different parts of the assignment. By George! I was a girl with a planner and a fool-proof plan for finishing this project with ample time and room for multiple drafts and corrections so when the week the due date came I would be sitting back and chilling because my paper had been done for days now. Yep, this was gonna be a breeze and I would alleviate all stress by simply doing the paper piece by piece over the next two months and having a perfect piece of immaculate formal business report glory. Yes, yes it would be good.
Three days before first draft is due. I got nothing. Not a smidge of formal business report. Not a crust of immaculate project goodness. SO three days -and one over-nighter that resulted in me almost falling asleep in my 8 o’clock and becoming temporary delusional and insane-later I had a working, impressive draft. At around 3:20 am on that last night (well morning actually) in between chugging water and contemplating sobbing, I began to wonder how the heck I ended up in this horrid predicament. I mean I’m a junior in college, surely I should be past these nights of low-sitting eyes and regrets but alas I am not. For the past semester I had been staying on top of my deadlines so that they wouldn’t creep up on me, but for some reason that business report wasn’t on the agenda of “getting done early.” Even though i had set deadlines and whatnot I had no intention of actually keeping up with them. I’d find other work to do INSTEAD of start my business report. And why? Because it was 23 pages and I’m a chronic procrastinator.
It’s funny the things I procrastinate. I postpone extremely large, time-consuming things because they scare the crap out of me and I guess I tell myself that if I start it early I’m gonna end up doing it all and losing countless hours of fun “me-time”. Also, there are about 5,672 things I’d rather do than anything that requires more than 30 minutes of intelligent attention. Those things include: frolicking, buying monkey shirts, wondering what makes clocks work, listening to my iPod, staring at my ceiling, pretending I’m a skilled break-dancer whenever a hardcore hip-hop song comes on my iPod shuffle, pretending I’m a belly dancer whenever Shakira comes on my iPod, and watching Sister Act 2 and Alice in Wonderland for the 30 millionth time. Yep, ALL of that comes before doing any type of long term school work.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to contain my procrastination by realizing when i am doing it. Here are few signs that you too might be a chronic procrastinator:
1. Cleaning Your Room at Random Times
2. Deciding that now would be the perfect time to take that hour long survey you got e-mailed to you even though you hate surveys and you know it will be a complete waste of time.
3.Shopping for an event that is months away as if it is tomorrow and finding the perfect fit today is of the UTMOST importance
4.Suddenly finding time to bond with all your FaceBook friends
5. Catching up on all the episodes of Real Housewives of America [this basically captures all the Real Housewives shows unless there’s a Real Housewives of New Delhi that I missed] that you have missed for the past three weeks
6. Playing Angry Birds [note that Angry Birds is directly related to profuse amounts of procrastination, it’s basically a productivity vacuum]
7. Hitting ’em with that flex even though you are neither in a public venue nor a place where “leaving ’em begging for some mo’ ” is appropriate.
Now don’t get me wrong there are a few select instances where procrastinating may be beneficial to you. One of those instances are as follows:
You wake up and get dressed for class and plan on leaving your room and starting your journey to class at 8.10. You procrastinate and leave at 8.18. Once you do reach your class you find a flustered friend outside the doorway.
You: Hey, friend. Why do you have such a flustered appearance?
Friend: *gasping for air* Well I was walking to class and at exactly 8.13 a horde of renegade clowns drove through campus on a giant unicycle and decided to throw darts at every person they passed on their rogue mission of pure clown-y mischief and misery.
You: By golly, if I had left eight minutes earlier I too would have been accosted by these fiendish, mischievous, ne’er-doing purveyors of amusement.
This scenario is actually pretty much the only time procrastination works out in your favor. Every other time, it just leave you hurt, alone and contemplating dropping out of school and either: 1. joining America’s Best Dance Crew or 2.tap dancing for change down in the French Quarter [oh ‘taking the rap game by storm’ is always an option too].
So my fine readers, what are some other signs that you are chronically procrastinating work? You know, other than the fact that you are reading this post as opposed to doing something productive like healing the world, buying TOMS, practicing your dougie, or mastering the ‘Remember the Time’ stage on Michael Jackson Experience. But it’s okay this isn’t procrastinating, this is merely taking an elongated break from your studies.
-Cool Briize aka the Briize-a-nator aka Brini
“But now you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips”-Colossians 3:8