Friday, December 10, 2010

The Prince of Procrastination

By Shawn Strasburg

I once thought that if I didn’t try hard enough, I could slip in well under par in a contest for the world’s greatest procrastinator. Unfortunately, I found one major flaw in my procrastination game. I keep getting stuff done! In my quest to be the slacker extreme, I find myself prince among kings.

This low standing irks me to no end, because of my competitive nature. The only prize that can be attained by doing -here’s the catch word-“ nothing,” fails to be within reach. Surprisingly, I find that not just one, but several people have followed this course of inaction better than any sloth in the zoo (and I really think the one I saw was dead).

These kings of slack actually didn’t do the work at all. I keep having the problem of getting my work done, even though I indulge in putting things off a breath short of often. I saw several of these kings crying when they failed to turn in papers that would slash their grade by half. What a sport, when the winners are really the losers.

I have a class mate that shares several classes with me (I’ll keep her anonymous), and we sort of justified our tardiness of effort by the other’s shortcomings. Several times we talked about the dreaded assignment of 17,000 words and swore that we would do it over the weekend. There is sly fault in that rationalization, there were 15 weekends this semester before the homework was due. These weekends slipped behind us and we were down to 3 days and counting, but I felt confident the whole time because I had overheard at least three other students planning this way all semester, not just my lax colleague (who also finished before the due date).

I did learn that I can type nearly 1,000 words an hour and research the whole time. I would not recommend this, because it took at least six hours of video games to kill the brain cells that had developed while completing the assignment. Another thing I learned in this process was that the homework for that class was actually quite fun. Okay, so yes I did learn to start a paper at least five days early instead of three days before it was due, and that sixteen hours of typing in a few days is ridiculous.

Now I would never recommend this course of action to anyone in their right mind. However, several students have told me that they can only produce under pressure. I don’t know about them, but the chaos involved brings out the moody bear in me. Usually, I don’t wait on purpose, life just tends to have a way of happening, despite my best intentions. Case in point, try taking a prescription that your doctor insists you take for two weeks to see if the side effects wear off. I was a Guinea Pig! At least five of the major side affects barraged me at the same time. When I finally convinced him to end my suffering, within two days I felt like running a marathon (walking style). This was a huge contrast, because I was dizzy, my heart raced, and I had such severe nausea that the instant I moved I gagged most days. And I will save your appetite and go into no further in detail.

This is not the only reasons to put things off. Deaths, divorce, breakups, vehicle breakdowns, and even fun things such as sports, video games, gf/bfs, the list goes on. Is there a good answer to these issues? Doubtful. Next semester I plan to do my assignments at the soonest chance possible, because I never will be the king of procrastination.

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