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Procrastination Essays

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Picture this: I’ll get homework on a Friday, maybe some maths questions and a practice essay for English, doable, right? I won’t do it that Friday night because well plain and simple, I don’t want to. The next morning I’ll wake up and spend the whole Saturday doing things and ...

by the time I sit down it’s 6 pm and well it’s too late now so I push it to Sunday. Bad decision, fast forward to 10 pm Sunday, and I’m stuck on the thesis of my essay, so I automatically go into panic mode and I am instantly filled with feelings of regret and anger towards myself. I begin to hope that the teacher for some miraculous reason won’t collect them the next day and ill be fine, from experience this is never the case. This is what I like to call the art of procrastination.

An example. In the 5 weeks that I had to write this speech, I thought it smart to leave it until the last minute and write it 3 days before it was due placing immense stress on myself to get it done and have it memorized on time. Why ? because I’m really good at procrastinating, id even go as far as to say it’s one of my skills.

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something, in other words baking a batch of cookies and binging a whole season of a show on Netflix all instead of writing that essay that’s due in 2 days simply because you believe you’ll get it done on time, spoiler alert, you probably won’t. The word procrastinate literally comes from the Latin word procrastinare, which directly translates to ‘put off until tomorrow.’ On very rare occasions I’ll start the assignment early or I’ll leave the assignment till the day before and stay up all night finishing it only to be filled with an instant feeling of regret asking myself why I hadn’t just used my time wisely.

We can look at procrastinating like this, our brain is divided into 2 characters, our future self, and our present self. We make goals for our future selves like learning a new language, starting that health kick, or finishing that book so we, therefore, get excited over long-term rewards, but when it comes down to it, our present self is the one that actually has to take the action so we can eventually get there. So because our present self wants instant rewards and our future self wants long-term rewards they don’t really blend well together. In a realistic scenario, the future self wants to go to the gym, whereas the present self wants to lay in bed and eat a Krispy Kreme donut. Or we’ll give our present self rewards that they don’t really deserve, for example thinking that because you’ve opened a new google document and written the title of your essay, you deserve a break to go on your phone for 2 hours.

Although there are many reasons why we procrastinate the main ones are a lack of time management, lack of desire, and lack of motivation. Someone like me, with horrible time management skills, often starts never-ending cycles of planning to do things, putting them off then instead spending hours scrolling through Tik Tok only to realize that it’s too late so I push it to tomorrow. It’s difficult to manage your time, and if you’re one of those strange people who can, then I’m jealous, but we need to learn how to because it’s the key to getting things done and getting them done effectively.

Another reason we often push things to do later is that we have formulated the idea that we need to be in a so-called ‘mood’ to complete mandatory things, which is why we often don’t do things since that ‘mood’ doesn’t show. As well as this, a lack of desire is what most commonly causes us to not do things because we may just simply not feel like doing it. This is understandable because I feel like everyone would rather spend their weekend outside having fun with their friends rather than writing their speech, unless they started it early and were smart, unlike me. Lastly, a lack of interest in the topic could cause you to procrastinate reading into it, which is often a situation I find myself falling into, because I mean, who really wants to write an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird? Even though this may be the case sometimes we are required to do things that we don’t particularly want to do despite how boring or mundane the subject is.

Mainly it’s just that huge tasks overwhelm us. We know that the task will be too big and time-consuming, so we push it to the back of our minds. There are three main ways to solve this problem. One is to break the time you spend on the assignment into small increments, for example, here is a possible schedule for a student who is told on February 1 that he has to hand in a scientific OEI paper by May 1: From February 1st to March 1st, we can think about the paper. From March 2nd to April 1st, we can think about it some more. Then April 30, the day before it’s due, we can pull an all-nighter, including all the research and writing.

Solution number 2, in my opinion, a much simpler alternative, is to just forget about doing the paper then shortly before it’s due go on one of those very trustworthy websites like to find a very original essay. Or if all else fails, you could always just drop out of school, I mean Bill Gates did and I’d say he’s doing pretty good for himself, but he did drop out of Harvard so I think he had to be just a bit smart to get in, so I don’t really recommend option number 3.

Yes, procrastinators put off doing work, and at times just staring at the wall for up to 30 mins that do not mean they are lazy. There is a stark difference between laziness and procrastination. Lazy people choose not to do anything and are fine with it, procrastinators are aware that they have things to get done but simply do not have the motivation to get started with them. Although we often look at procrastination as being a bad thing, because of the overwhelming stress it puts on us, I happen to think that it’s actually a good thing.

I mean we have to start that assignment at one point or another, and yes it would’ve been smart to start it earlier but weirdly I find there’s something thrilling about starting it at the last minute, there’s almost a sudden rush of adrenaline because the pressure of having to do it finally builds up and that’s when all the ideas start to come and you end up working better in an emergency than what you would have done if you had started earlier. I like to justify my actions by simply reassuring myself that I will work faster and more efficiently if I wait till the last minute, which is sort of a fancy way of saying I don’t want to do it now so I’ll do it later.

After all, a quote that sums up my point perfectly is “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done daily.” I’ll have to look into who said that but not today though, I’ll do it tomorrow, or maybe next week.       

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