I’m disappointing myself on many levels by writing something on such a generic and passe’ phenomenon, by replacing something so much deeper and quirky with a quickly typed, poorly edited and half-hearted post that i’m putting out to avoid putting off writing my blog for any longer.
(I do get the irony of writing about procrastination to avoid exactly that, but I’m a hypocrite anyway.)
Last week I read a piece that insisted on defending procrastination and segmenting humans into procrastinators and normal people.
I read it with a slight bitterness because I don’t think the line is so fine at all and that frustrated me.
Is there a line?
There probably is, if you insist, but certainly not with normal people and procrastinators. There’s a lot of self help that suggests that the reason people are “normal” is because they procrastinate.
What that article further insinuated is that people that procrastinated had more fun than people that didn’t and didn’t have to deal with anxiety and deadlines until the very last minute which means they get more time to have fun.
This makes zero sense to me intuitively, but I’m no party monster. I don’t get anxious about much and I believe deadlines are meant to be adhered to so I pretty much get my work done these days. However, I am familiar with procrastination when it comes to the things I take more seriously and accord more weight to. My entire life is spent avoiding doing what I really should be doing (like studying, exercise, learning to code, reading scientific research, whatever) and does it get me anywhere? No, no it doesn’t.
(I have this inherent fear of doing badly what I cannot afford to fail in and this keeps me from doing all those things that could potentially set me apart from others. But that’s deviation.) Do I have fun procrastinating though? Maybe for 1% of the time when I successfully forget about the looming deadline, but the rest of the time is a smorgasbord of feeling incompetent, totally underprepared.
Does it pay off to procrastinate?
My regret after every lost mark (or tens of marks) consumes me to such a grave degree my roommates fear for my mental state.
It’s definitely not fun. Nope.
Do my lost marks have anything to do with procrastination?
Most likely everything- there’s only so much time before the actual exams and if I spend 50% of that wasting my life, watching YouTube and smirking at exam memes, I have 50% less time to actually prepare for what’s going to be tested.
As John Green (an idol of mine) once said, “There’s nothing called as free time- there’s only time and what you choose to do with it.”
The person whose article I read and mentioned throughout this article isn’t entirely wrong either. There’s only certain amounts of pre-planning and studying you can possibly do, so having fun isn’t always procrastination. It’s just how much time you deem “for fun” and how much can actually be the optimal interval of “fun time” before it cuts into your actual work. And oh, cut it does.
(PS: I know my message here always focuses on relentless effort, blood, sweat and tears, yadda yadda yadda, but that’s because my experience all my life has taught me little else, frankly. I can’t vouch for the validity of this obviously but this is my narrative. Others may exist and trump this one, so feel free to enlighten me.)