Living Life on the Edge of Procrastination

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I am not one to live dangerously. At all. I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs; heck, I don’t even jaywalk. But procrastination is my way of living, not dangerously, but a little on the edge.

Why do I live this way??? Simple. It’s the classic phrase of “I don’t have time.” It fits perfectly into almost every scenario, and it’s completely self-explanatory. In a way, it provides the ultimate excuse.

For instance: “Why didn’t you come to the movies last night?” to which you reply, “Oh, I didn’t have time.” Golden. Whether you actually didn’t have the time, or simply didn’t want to see the person and/or the movie, you’re off the hook. No follow-up questions; no hurt feelings.

Obviously this phrase isn’t applicable everywhere, such as in terms of homework or in the workplace; no one wants to fail a class or get fired for living too much on the edge.

Grocery shopping, however, is an interesting case. It is permissible to use this providential little chestnut in terms of grocery shopping (as I do quite often these days), but if you have a husband, children or, in my case, a hungry cat, at home, then at some point you will be coerced into it. Note: this will happen regardless of whether or not you are happy living off of non-perishables you found in the pantry with questionable expiry dates (trust me, I tried it).

To an extent, I see procrastination as a stimulant, and I am pretty sure I am addicted to it.

I started out slow. You know, moving my plans for doing something to the next day to make room for a little more “me” time in a day. Totally harmless, with no real repercussions.

Then I got accustomed to it, and decided to try it some more, see how far it could take me. I started moving my studying and homework plans forward by days for reasons now forgotten, but most likely because I just couldn’t motivate myself enough to concentrate or to create something genius enough to earn an A+ mark.

Then it just got ridiculous. Take last year for instance. Numerous times did I wait until the night before to start writing an essay or begin studying for a final. This was particularly evident when I crammed an entire term’s worth of Linguistics knowledge into my brain in one night for the final exam. Doing this caused a major meltdown around 2am, with what little comprehendible speech I uttered going something like, “. . . I’m going to fail!!! -sniff- . . . my mark will go down, I’ll lose my scholarship, I’ll have to drop out . . .-tears- I’ll be a drop-out!!! . . . -more tears- . . . I just can’t do this anymore . . . it’s, it’s just too much . . .” On that went for about 20 minutes or so until I realized it wasn’t doing any good and I was wasting time. I calmed myself down, and went back to studying for another hour or so.Β The exam turned out fine. I got something in the high 90s, and got an A+ in the class. Mission accomplished.

Starting this year, I vowed never to procrastinate that much, as so far I have kept that promise to myself.Β To the extreme planners out there, I am sorry; I am probably grating the cheese of your nerves like crazy by now. All I can say for justification of my actions is I think really well under pressure. Yes, I meltdown, but it’s my way of collecting my thoughts and focusing my brain on a particular task. I am easily distracted, and backing myself into a corner of tight time constraints puts everything in perspective, and I can create grand, magical essays and study notes. And, strangely enough,Β my procrastination only ever rears its little head in academic environments; otherwise I am a massive planner. A bit paradoxical, a procrastinating planner, but there you have it.

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45 Responses to Living Life on the Edge of Procrastination

  1. nanaaj says:

    This is a clear description of me on a daily basis. And believe it or not procastinating has saved me a few times.

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  2. umanigith says:

    Hahaha…The procrastinating planner. Good one! I feel sometimes I am similar but some ways I am not. Like if it’s meeting with a friend, I would never say ,I didn’t have the time. That would be like I don’t care enough for the relationship. But shopping and other stuff, I am guilty πŸ˜‰

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  3. I used to be (and sometimes still am) a huge procrastinator! But over the years I have learned to analyze why I do it and then take steps to stop. The main thing is that I get overwhelmed by the task, like a research paper, and don’t know where to start. I also had a bit of what you mention- thinking that I worked well under pressure so it was fine. However, now that I’ve been doing less procrastinating, I find that I work just fine and sometimes better when I have time to refine my work.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this- it’s always nice to see writing from fellow procrastinators :p

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  4. Mary M West says:

    Wow. Procrastination really is motivational. It reminds me to get things done out of necessity. I too can be a procrastinator on several levels. For example, laundry. If I run out of something that I need to wear, I know its time to do wash. School work, if its hard to understand or I’m not fond of it then I leave it alone till it absolutely has to get done. I can understand where you are coming from and how change within your spirit although gradually will give you strength to enjoy the journey in areas where you are weakest. I love your honesty. Keep in touch.

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  5. I can also relate: my worst habit is the laundry. ‘No, I’ve still got three T-shirts and a pair of jeans, I don’t need to launder for ages’ – two days later, I have nothing to wear. And yet, I can be an extremely careful planner with other things.

    Enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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  6. schlee93 says:

    I can definitely relate to this too! Some of my best essays have been written under extreme time duress =)

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  7. inspireva says:

    Interesting perspective. I tend to procrastinate with minor tasks especially at home. : )

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  8. Franz says:

    I can seriously relate to this post. I have the same issue with procrastination as well I get huffed up and bent over the day before the actual test. I stay on edge, say a little prayer and boom! A passing grade. But when it comes to math though about 7 times out of 10 I fail, get back up and pass the class. In my opinion, procrastination varies on the person and how they are willing to handle the pressure. I really liking how your blog looks and i’m looking forward to your future posts.

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  9. More than 40 years ago I realised I was a procrastinator. Now my trick is to have way too many things to do (I mean so many things that I cannot complete any of them, even if I lived several lifetimes). So, I’m no longer a procrastinatorβ€”I’m prolific, busy and engaged in diversification. Also good at positive spin!

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    • Excellent way around it!!! I’ll give it a go. I tried making a to-do list, but it just results in me feeling so good that I was able to cross something off that I use it to justify taking “just a little break.” Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. cheungsteve says:

    i relate completely, and up until a few weeks ago thought it was a personality trait that needed to be “fixed”. The professor for my web development class mentioned that some people just work better that way: collect/hoard information at the start of the process (which takes up the majority of the process) and it all focuses down towards the end.

    i find myself in that camp, so, whatever works πŸ™‚ stress is just such a good motivator!

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  11. Chait says:

    My mantra to beat procrastination is to just do one single unit of any work as a bare minimum. More often than not, it helps me springboard.

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  12. Great post! Witty and intelligent! Love it!
    In addition, I can totally relate, being the procrastinating planner – as you put it. I like to think of it as a sensitive soul functioning when inspired only. Somehow, though, this inspiration flourishes as the deadlines approach!
    Love your writing!

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  13. I relate completely. I once purchased a book on how to stop procrastinating…. I didn’t get around to finishing it!

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    • Haha that is rich. I have to wonder how effective the authors thought the book would be, given most people can recognize that they’re procrastinators, but probably won’t actually finish the book. Hopefully there wasn’t some master solution on the last page. I’m glad you can relate, and thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  14. Matt says:

    Even after more years than I care to share right now, I still find a way to procrastinate the things that I find the most intimidating. It’s not the doing so much, as the first step to get started.

    btw…loved the image on the blog. It drew me in and opened my world to listening to you. Thanks.

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    • I’m glad the image enticed you into reading!!! Some people turn away from young bloggers, so thank you for not being one of them. Hmm…I am excellent at the first step, you know, essay outline or plan making, but I lose it after that. The completion, that’s where it crumbles. I need a short time frame to motivate me towards the end goal. Anywho, thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  15. CJPardun says:

    Ah, procrastination! The ultimate motivator. Love this post. You obviously love to write. Keep at it. As a fellow procrastinator, what other “more organized” people don’t understand is that we are actually mulling, organizing, editing, thinking in our heads. The final act might take a while to pop out of our brains–but if it matters, it always does. And on deadline, I might add!

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    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment!!! I do love to write, and I am glad that you can tell πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Plus, I am so happy to find fellow procrastinators. We have to stick together to defend our mentalities against those who promote planning over waiting for inspiration to strike.

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  16. I think all humans procrastinate to some degree. When I was the masters’ degree program a few years ago, as a 40+ something surrounded by 20-something students, I was always amazed at how many waited until the last minute to write major papers, while I started working on them the second week! I guess I like my sleep! NIcely done on the post! πŸ™‚

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    • Haha the willingness to sacrifice sleep is a definite requirement I find for university procrastination. If you choose the procrastinator’s lifestyle, you need to be prepared to give up sleep and other physiological needs in order to pull through sometimes. Thank you for reading my post, and for your wonderful comment πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  17. Oh, do I know that. It’s a really bad habit. On the other hand, if the dreaded deadline draws ever nearer, all the adrenaline turns an average procrastinator into a getting-stuff-done superhero – slacker by day, avenger of the midterm paper by night! – so it’s all good, right?
    (And I totally should not be reading five different books for a class right now or anything instead of digging through the internet, whoops.)

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    • “A getting-stuff-done superhero.” I LOVE it. Haha and definitely an avenger of the midterm paper by night. I feel like that’s become my new career. Basically I’m procrastinator girl. A real avenger, I just put off getting ready for the Avengers picture so I missed it and they didn’t have a good photo of me to photoshop in. I am so glad you understand. Thank you for reading, and for your witty comment πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  21. Love it ! I can totally relate to it – I am a habitual procrastinator when it comes to studying for exams or doing assignments – and yes it indeed does get progressively worse – to the point that I start working just the night before the deadline and even then I end up spending more than half the night chatting / browsing ….. However, in my opinion, I justify it but saying that I’m being efficient πŸ˜‰

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