You know who you are. In fact, you're probably procrastinating right now, so before we begin, a quick run-down of everything you might be (are probably) putting off:
- 10-page paper, due tomorrow. We'll pretend you've started.
- 15 questions of math homework, actually in Russian (as far as you can tell).
- Your half an hour at the gym, a New Years' resolution you've yet to break.
- Cleaning your room. You know your eight-legged roommates better than your two-legged ones at this point.
I'll give you a moment to close this tab and do those things.
AHAHA but really, who am I kidding?
You're a champion of all nighters, a master of pure, high-octane productivity that would put even Henry Ford to shame as you cram three nights' worth of writing into one. Your fingers fly across the keyboard as though possessed; you spit in the face of proofreading; your veins run with blood and Starbucks® Caramel Macchiato. And you, procrastinator, know the true agony of a Sunday evening, as enlightenment descends and you realize that you have left all of your homework until just now.
Weeping into your Calculus textbook, you cry, "Why do I do this to myself?"
It's not that you don't have the time. It's not even that you don't have the motivation, because you know that if you just got it done sooner you might actually get more than three hours of sleep a week, and yet your horrible, evil past self just keeps shunting off the work to you. Why does this keep happening to you?
Perhaps you're a perfectionist. That might seem counter-intuitive, but for the hardcore perfectionist, the process of homework is a daunting one. When you sit down to write the first draft of your English paper, you look through your third eye and see three more drafts waiting for you in the foggy mists of the future; when you study, you realize how much more fun it would be to scroll through Instagram instead of agonizing over mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) for six straight hours.
Okay, let's admit it: scrolling through Instagram is infinitely more fun than biology.
Huh, maybe that's the reason. It seems to be part of human nature to seek instant gratification -- you know that chocolate cake is going to put you back on your diet, but you just can't resist that chocolatey goodness -- so maybe it's that same impulse that makes you write exactly one (1) sentence of your comp assignment before flipping tabs to binge-watch all nine seasons of The Office. Hey, you're only human. You've got needs, and one of those needs happens to be eight straight hours of Netflix and a box of Slim Jims. You gotta live your life, and if we're all procrastinators anyway, why stand out from the crowd?
For those of us who are more concerned not with why we procrastinate but oh god please make it stop, a word of advice. Three words, actually:
Just do it.
I wish I could give you better words, but they're the only ones I've got. When the procrastination bug hits, sometimes there's nothing you can do but strap in, get your butt in a chair, and do it. I won't pretend it's fun. You'll scream and cry, but at the end of the day, if you have to bully and bribe yourself to get stuff done, you're gonna bully and bribe, threaten and treat your way to the finish line of that ten-page paper.
So sit down, procrastinator.
You can do it.