I’m sitting here, staring at this screen, procrastinating from writing about procrastination by watching videos on the mind of a procrastinator. Meta.
During high school I was a major procrastinator. I didn’t just wait until the last second to do my homework. I waited until the last second to swoop in and save my grade. Sophomore English I failed the first time through, but got a 12/13 on the final analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird. I popped my math grade barely into the realm of passing a couple weeks before graduation.
In college, I did my English paper the day of. I outlined and studied beforehand, I knew what I was going to write, and within an hour or two I could pop out a five to ten page paper no problem.
What made my desire to procrastinate worse was when I switched to an English/Secondary Education major. We needed to write an entrance essay, which was incredibly important. Knowledge and facilitating knowledge are very important (I was a horrid student, but I valued learning despite loathing the grade) to me.
Weeks were sacrificed upon the altar of the entrance essay. Every word was agonized over. I obsessed over syntax. A dozen people gave their input. I couldn’t play video games because I needed to perfect the essay one more time.
When the board read it, they asked if I was serious about this, and they doubted my dedication to the program based on my essay.
Yet the paper on the Canterbury Tales I started writing literally an hour before class got an A.
There is a magic to procrastination, and I’ll touch on that soon. First, more anecdotes!
As a teacher, I did my lesson plans on Sunday when they were due on Monday. I didn’t procrastinate grading because I had two jobs. If I started grading as soon as I got home, and took a short break for dinner, I was already so far behind it was inherently procrastination.
Big Things Meant Always Procrastination
But that became the trick.
I recently came up with goals that I’m simply so far behind on that I’m always in procrastination mode. I’m always a few years behind. The timeline is my life, which is extremely limited, and I can’t accomplish everything I want.
The deadline is always in front of me. I beat procrastination by making sure there is so much I need to do, that I am always extremely behind. It is December 1, and I’m writing the December blogs! I’m supposed to be two months ahead. Now, to be fair I did just start the blog journey a few weeks ago. Being behind, though, gives me the drive to get ahead.
How do make sure you’re on task and productive?
Also, a fun TED talk on procrastination.