Why Do We Wait Until The Last Minute?

What’s the appeal of waiting last minute? Whether it’s doing our holiday shopping, preparing for finals or telling someone that we love them, we hold it off until the very last second. No, it’s not healthy. It gives us immense anxiety but we do it anyway. Some people say they “work better under pressure.” Others try and pull off the cool, calm and collected attitude when they really can’t.

I’ll have to admit that I’m a procrastinator at heart. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s procrastinating. Procrastination is a terrible habit that’s hard to break. But I’m curious about why we wait to take care of the important things in our life, while at the same time we’re impatient about everything else.

When it comes to my studies, I prioritize certain things more than others. For some reason, if I'm assigned a 20-page paper and a four-page paper, I'm most likely going to save the 20-page paper for last. But why? Considering all the more effort I'm going to have to put into a 20- page paper, I would much rather push down the assignment for as long as I can.

Of course, a month before the deadline you'll probably have no genuine ambition or motivation to start the paper. You'll simply wait until the week before to actually write it. There's a strong relationship between time and stress. If you're not stressed, you're not going to do it with time on your side. But if you are stressed, you're going to do it with limited time. Our brain works in weird ways and sometimes I just can't get my brain to accept deadlines without any stress.

Now, let's talk about last minute holiday shoppers. You know who you are and I'm right there with you. Similar to my last minute completed assignments, I'm even better at buying gifts before Christmas Eve is over. Holiday shopping secretly sucks. We want to keep our bank accounts intact for as long as possible but we know from the moment the holiday season rolls around, we're going to see some numbers drop.

For some of us, we want to save up money, while others have no idea how to shop for their loved ones. Therefore, they'll wait until the very last second to complete the dreadful task. If there's one thing I learned this holiday season, it's when you see a perfect gift online, order it because within the next eight minutes and 52 seconds you'll never see it again.

When it comes to expressing your feelings or saying those three words we all hold off on, there's one thing we can't do and it's to wait. This doesn't compare to studying or last minute shopping. Telling someone how you feel has a much shorter time period. People come and they go. When you catch the slightest feeling for another person your entire world becomes a ticking time bomb. Tell them before they leave, tell them before things change. This is a deadline that can't be missed.

Clearly, we do what we do because we simply do. For some of us, there's not enough time in the day to accomplish all of our tasks. But if we organize our lives and structure our time, we'll have enough time for a lot more. Together we should stop waiting until the last minute for everything.

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