I’ll do it later. Wait, let me tidy up the desk first, I won’t be able to get any work done otherwise. Okay done, but all that tidying has made me exhausted, I’ll just take a two minute nap so I’ll be nice and refreshed!
*Four hours later*
Wow, I’m still way too tired to concentrate, let me wake myself up by watching some TV. Okay, let me finish this episode and then I promise I’ll do it. Okay, one more episode and then I’ll do it. Promise. Oh…look..I’ve watched an entire box set, it’s seven in the evening – dinnertime! I’ll do it after I eat. Oh, but I need a cup of tea first let me fill the kettle. Okay, the tea is made but first I need to concentrate on drinking it. Now I need to thoroughly rinse the cup…oh but then it’s not fair if these abandoned cups and plates are left unwashed, they look so dirty and helpless…I’ll wash them! Okay, I must make a start on that work. But that new show is starting tonight, I’ll do it after, definitely! Oh…it’s really late, I won’t be able to concentrate, bedtime!
Hands up if this is you.
Well, you’re not alone. I am a frequent visitor at Procrastination Station and I always need a chance to pull myself out of it. Did you know I have exactly a hundred and two pens cluttering my desk? I didn’t either until yesterday.
Procrastination is the devil. Everyone does it, even when they don’t realise they’re doing it. Usually procrastination occurs when there’s a deadline looming in the distance. Then once the deadline grows closer, the procrastination also grows, bringing along it’s friends like anxiety, stress and guilt to enjoy the ride of tormenting you.
Some of us can work very well under pressure. I know I can. Faced with nothing but this barrier of a deadline, forces most of us to just shut up in our rooms for hours on end, kicking, crying, screaming, fussing…anything but working. Ever notice how tidy a room suddenly gets once a major deadline is approaching? Or that you have exactly twenty pencils on the desk. Go figure!
You see, procrastination is a science. When you are given a task, your brain processes this and then assesses whether this task will have a positive or negative effect. It take it’s time to ‘assess.’ A lot of time. So much so, we start developing anxiety if there is no immediate positive response. So while we’re all waiting for our brain to pull it’s finger out during it’s ‘assessment,’ the situation spins out of control. In our subconscious, we are terrified of a possibility of a negative result. Erm…I don’t think you need your subconscious to tell you that but okay. Therefore, we feel humiliated and aggressive toward the task. Is this psychological jargon proving too much for you? Let me break it down: At most times, procrastination is a form of laziness. Oh what am I saying! It is laziness! And I know we all don’t want to be lazy. So, how do we defeat it? Well, it usually depends on how well we work under pressure. Are you the type of person who leaves everything till the last minute and then feels the force of work hit you like a truck once the deadline approaches? Or are you the more chilled out, laid back type, who take it all in their stride and won’t let any work ruin their plans. If it gets done, it gets done. If it doesn’t then no biggie. Life is short right? Why worry about the trivial things?
Whichever category you place yourself in, you are procrastinating in some form or another. The more chilled out person may refuse to see the importance in the work they’re doing therefore they simply don’t care. Whereas the last minute worker will feel like that during most of their procrastinating time, but they’ll also feel that underlying guilt accompanying them wherever they go. Poking and prodding them until they teeter on the brink of a breakdown.
The only solution I can offer you here – is listen to the guilt. If you ignore it, you’ll only make matters worse for yourself. Procrastination has been proven to lead to high blood pressure and is often the underlying cause of stress. Also, find something you enjoy doing and try working around that. Focus on rewarding yourself with ONE episode of your favourite TV show after completing say – six hundred words of your essay. That way, it will force you to be more compliant and focus on your work just so you can watch the next episode. When I was studying for my final year in Undergrad a few months ago, I would reward myself with three episodes of Breaking Bad after writing just three hundred words. It’s terrible, I know but don’t use that as an example. Use that as an anti-example if you like.
At the end of the day, it’s all about focus. Focus and the strength of your character.
I’m going to wrap this up with a few quotes.
‘Procrastination is the thief of time.’ – Charles Dickens
‘Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.’ – Victor Kiam
‘The best way to get something done, is to begin.’ – Anonymous.
This is me signing off.