The art of procrastination

Procrastination plagues many college students, but that shouldn’t stop them from getting work done. Graphic by Maria Nevada

Crystal Kwaw

My ability to hide from homework and deadlines that are impatiently waiting for me, is practically genius. I should add procrastination to my resume.

When I’m in a dance with the behavior called procrastination, I won’t call it that–I’ll call it “waiting.” It’s like I’m in a waiting room by myself wondering when it’s the right time to start. I’ve decided the most fitting time is when excitement kicks in. How I don’t know how long it’ll take before I read the textbook. First world problems don’t solve themselves, so I tell myself I’ll get to it later.

Procrastination has lulled me to a point where I don’t even notice that I switch partners. My next dance partner is called “self-sabotage.” My wait feels glorious when I tell myself the piling homework can wait. Occasionally, intermittent visits from anxiety about the coming deadline would knock me out of complacency, but then denial greets me.

I’ll find every trivial thing to do on the internet: shop, read reviews and watch endless reviews of books and movies get made fun of on YouTube.

There’s a point where my responsibility will not be shunned anymore. One of two behaviors occur in me. The first showed up this summer when my car decided to go into a coma and I had to act. The transmission, gasket, plugs and AC were all broken. I needed the money to fix it, and I wasn’t waiting for my three-day weekly job to one day fix it.

If I did the math it would take the whole summer and fall semester to raise the money. Not having the car ruined my lethargic momentum, and that drove me to a temporary work agency and well, work. It was short-lived but at least I did something.

The second option, when I can no longer ignore what needs to get taken care of, is to indulge in even more delay. More stagnancy. More distraction. More blankets to hide from the treacherous deadline (who would coin anything “deadline?”). More short-term gratification. More mole behavior until I can dig no further.

This behavior gave me a failing grade in English Composition- twice. I procrastinated getting help at the Writing Center and visiting my professor. This brings me to a slow dance with regret. Regret is procrastination’s companion. They walk together, or sometimes regret is right behind procrastination.

I am talented and skilled at the art of procrastination, I mean waiting. I’ve mastered it, and I can see that people, especially college students, would love to possess the much-desired skill of procrastinating.

Lately, I’ve tried to master a new talent called graduating college–I need a new talent that isn’t so useless. Now there’s plenty of online sources and books on curbing this habit. I’m not completely an action-taking, solution-based energetic bird, but I know my time is coming.

This week I made intentions to get caught up on homework, so I could look for a paid internship. Then I saw myself waste two days on reruns of “Death in Paradise.” I thought I could moderately indulge in a little bit of T.V., but the hard truth is avoidance behavior thrives on the television trance, and the internet is also filled with limitless distraction. I need to cut it cold turkey. No room for negotiations. A lot of perspiration will come from cutting this habit, but once they’re cut, all I have left is to get tasks done.

What’s helped me is meditation. Yes, the secret ingredient that causes me to let go of my dance partners is meditating every day, because procrastination is relentless.

Strategy, re-dos and meditation are my new partners and with these partners I can accomplish so much and beyond. Reducing procrastination or to achieve any goal, there needs to be a persistent and deep metamorphosis.