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. 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. 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, 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.