Nov
30

The Demon I Cling To: Procrastination

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I don’t know why I do it. I’m not sure if something is wrong with me or if that’s just an excuse (after all I have many of them).

I make dozens of lists ahead of time. I plan everything out, carefully scheduling my time so that I won’t ever be overstressed or overworked. And yet, when the time comes to do something, to get just one little thing done, I don’t ever do it.

Instead, I push it back. I wait. I read my book, I watch TV, or I play my latest video game; I do anything and everything that doesn’t involve schoolwork. I need to relax, I tell myself. Just five more minutes and then I’ll get started.

I could just do it immediately. I could finish it as quickly as possible, and then go back to my other, more relaxing activities. It would just take five minutes to get started, and then I would be ahead of the game. Plus my time relaxing wouldn’t be clouded with the guilty knowledge that I should be doing something else.

But I don’t do it. I refuse to. I just keep sitting there. I just keep doing other things that have nothing to do with what I’m supposed to be doing.  I stay focused on my appointed distractions. I keep pushing things back, further and further. I wholeheartedly keep digging my own grave, long after I realize I should stop. After all, the deeper it is, the less likely I will be fazed by the flak. Right?

Wrong.

My tendency to put things off until the last few hours was like a death sentence. It meant that right now, in the final few days/weeks of classes I was really starting to panic. Everything that I’d been procrastinating as long as possible was suddenly due. All of the studying that I should have been doing was shouting at me, “You didn’t do this and now you’re going to pay.”

 

My last few days of classes were always miserable. I spent every second in the library, rushing to find the research I needed for each class. By the end of the first day I would never want to touch my computer again, but 8 hours later I’d be back, forced to start working all over again.

All my excuses from earlier would seem petty and pathetic in those days, as I nervously checked the clock every 10 minutes. How could I have ever though I was too tired to study? And who really cares if they’re motivated to do an assignment? I should have just done it.

If I’d started weeks ahead of time, like I always planned, than finals would never have fazed me. I wouldn’t have been stressed about finishing in time and everything I turned in would have been the best possible quality.

Instead, my finals week was always a week of exhaustion and stress. I often turned in work that I could still have improved in a thousand different ways. And I made stupid mistakes because I was worried about something else or too tired to realize what I should be doing.

I am a procrastinator, and I suffer for it.