To procrastinate is “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.” Many people are perpetual procrastinators, and their reasons for falling into this category can vary. Some people are incredibly busy. If this is the case, is it really procrastination, then? Being too busy with other important projects to work on a certain project? Others are just too lazy. I’m pretty sure that running out of time to work on something due to watching another episode of “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix does not qualify as being ‘busy.’
While being busy and being lazy are certainly reasons for procrastinating - though not necessarily valid reasons - sometimes procrastination is actually a preferred method of working. For some people, waiting until the last minute and adding that extra pressure to themselves is productive. Sometimes procrastination works.
For as long as I can remember, I have fallen into the third category of procrastinators. My projects and papers are typically finished (and started) the day before they are due. I only create an outline if it’s part of the grade, and, even then, my outline is typically typed up all at once in a grand moment of inspiration (which really translates to a moment of desperation where I grasp at straws but somehow manage to take hold of some good ideas).
If you’re a procrastinator of any kind, though, there will always be certain methods of creation that are relatable and that are inevitably used again and again. Sometimes these methods are downright terrible and are a complete last resort, but sometimes they do work. If you are a procrastinator, here are five things that you have probably done:
1. Used stress as a reason for not doing your work ahead of time.
You know what doesn’t help keep your stress levels down? Waiting until the last minute to do everything. You know when you’ll probably start listening to this advice? Never.
2. Forgotten to do an assignment because you had too many things you were planning to turn in at 11:59 pm.
This seems to be happening to me more and more every semester. The excuse of simply having forgotten an important deadline doesn’t always fly with professors, and it’s pretty embarrassing to have to admit. Oh well. Better luck next time.
3. Read the assignment itself the day it is due.
Whoops. Didn't know there was an interview you had to do with a faculty member as part of the assignment? Time to go running through the academic office building hoping someone is available.
4. Gotten a case of writer’s block when there’s a limited amount of time you can actually write - let alone attempt to break through that wall you’ve just hit.
Write one sentence. Backspace everything. Write a paragraph, then decide to change the scope of the entire essay. Finally, end up Googling “essay topic on the civil war” and go with the very first option that you know nothing about.
5. Frantically attempted to assemble everything to turn in only to run into technical issues.
This would, of course, be the one time someone falls asleep at the wheel and runs into a power line, or the time the school decides to do maintenance on their internet. Great. Just great.
Although there are definite disadvantages to procrastinating, and there are certain things that all procrastinators have had to deal with as a result of their poor planning, sometimes the best work comes from waiting until the last minute. Even with the potential difficulties and the sometimes awkward excuses that must be made, procrastinators can succeed. Someday, when necessary, and only if vital to survival.