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The bittersweet taste of procrastination

07. November 2014 | von

The bittersweet taste of procrastination

 

 

New semester, new rprocrastinationesponsibilities, this is probably a good moment to talk about the unwanted companion many of us have dealt with. Remember that instrument you will learn to play two years ago? How about those painting classes you will take last year? Or maybe it is something like studying, you know, that thing you will start with, say, like a week ago. Unless you are an extremely responsible person – in which case I take my hat off and salute your greatness -, you probably know to the bittersweet taste of procrastination, the habit of delaying or postponing something .

Almost everyone, at some point, has succumbed to the voice of this uninvited guest that somehow finds a way to squeeze its long and lazy body under your door and sit next to you as soon as you decide it is time to work. It is not a weak enemy, in fact, it possesses some incredible abilities that make it really dangerous, if you ever hear “do it later, you have time” be careful, procrastination can be a terrible adviser! Even though putting off those things you don’t want to do and doing instead those you enjoy might seem like a great deal, the pay off is usually not that nice. So, without further ado, we will take a look at a couple of those particularities that make procrastination such a tricky foe.

 

It knows where you are:

one of those abilities this little critter displays is its capacity to notice whether you are at home or somewhere else. This is important because it is at home where it seems to be really powerful. If you are at places like university or school it is weakened by the lack of its sources of energy, distractions like the kitchen, your TV, your dog, your video games or that piece of dirt on the ground that looks like an airplane.

 

It knows what day it is today:

this enemy of productivity is able to tell the difference between weekends and the other days of the week. You know the drill: you swear that Saturday will be pretty much only about working and studying and maybe a little about things like breathing, eating and drinking… but then, the attack begins. It is Friday night and you set an alarm on your phone   – nobody uses clocks nowadays, though we all hate that message telling us that the alarm will go off in X hours – so that, no matter what, you get up at seven. However, as soon as you hear the alarm a strange scene takes place: you roll on your bed and move like an octopus out of the water while you try to find that noisy thing that woke you up, after seconds that feel like an eternity and when your lamp, your books and anything near the phone is already on the floor, you finally turn the thing off and stop saying words I will not write here. Ready to get up? Not so fast! You hear the sweet voice: “do it later, you have time”. It’s not like you needed much to convince you to stay in bed, so you just give in and think that five minutes will definitely make a huge difference. Careful, here procrastination shows yet one more ability!

It can bend time:

those five minutes, for whatever reason, suddenly became two hours, yet, you could swear that you only closed your eyes for a moment. Well, not the best beginning, but that will encourage you to work even harder, right? Sure!

Time to work… of course as soon as you eat, you will definitely need energy in order to work so much. Fast forward and by the time your breakfast is ready you notice that almost two hours have passed since you got up… that working thing? Well, next thing on the list.

So, breakfast is over and now you sit in front of your documents and computer, ready this time? Mh, wait… you should check your mails before you start, there might be something really important awaiting, plus, reading your mails will not take more than a few minutes! You don’t know it, but you are about to fall for other of its tricks.

 

 

 

It is all over the Internet:

you open your mails and, besides those kind of irrelevant messages from your tutor, your doctor and the bank, you also have the really important ones: Facebook notifications, Candy Crush requests (people still play that?), Twitter updates, YouTube newest videos of cute cats and dogs and invitations to buy original replicas of your favourite watches.

Well, since you already clicked on those Facebook links, why don’t you take a look at your Timeline? Something nice must have happened during those long six hours you were offline! It is certainly so: your friend X posted a picture of her blue left shoe, you were invited to the annual convention of peanut butter producers and your friend Y posted Lady Spear´s newest video. Well, just that video and then you work!

Between watching that one video – and the other four they suggested – and reading comments that start about music, move onto religion and politics and then back to music, you check the time and notice something funny… it´s almost one pm and you haven’t done a single thing about your homework and duties. Wait, already one? Well, time to prepare lunch, after all, you can´t concentrate if you are hungry, so it only makes sense to take care of that first, but after lunch you will really work. This takes us to the next ability…

 

It gives you what you want:

by three o’clock a glass of coke and a piece of cake keep your hands busy and you notice that a new episode of Breaking Dead Theory is on… of course, you cannot miss it! But after that you will definitely work, yes sir.

While watching the new episode and the repeated one they showed after the first one, you gaze through your window and notice that it’s getting dark, you know dinner time comes, or that maybe you will accept that invitation to go out with your friends, after all, it was a long week and you deserve at least one day off! Yes, you deserve it, plus, you still have Sunday… but surprisingly, another funny ability procrastination can brag about greets you.

 

The replay effect:

Simply wash, rinse and repeat on Sunday.

 

And so your weekend is over, and then the month, and then the semester will follow. This train of life won’t bring great results and grades for you, which could be a problem. So, the most important step is, as usual, prevention.

This is, by no means, a guide to help people overcome their procrastination issues, (I wanted to write one, but I will do it later) even so, I would like to share a couple of thoughts which might help… or at least keep you entertained a couple of seconds more:

  • Set your goals and try to stay focused. There is always a new step to take, a new thing to learn, a new place to see. Time is precious!
  • Do not wait until conditions are perfect to take action, that might never happen.
  • Try to limit those distractions that consume too much of your time. Computers can usually be both salvation and doom, it depends on how you use them, try to be responsible.
  • Set priorities. Maybe a to-do list would help you visualize what should be done first.
  • Finally, don’t let procrastination take over, because once it finds a place in your house, it will also find a way to stay.

 

Remember, many try to get rid of the habit, but then they hear a sweet voice saying: “do it later, you have time”.

4 Antworten zu “The bittersweet taste of procrastination”

  1. Tlemus sagt:

    Good article, procastination it is a bad thing if you want reach your golas, we should take care about how to avoid it, thank you for Sharing your thoughts.

    • Manuel Guillermo Zuleta Marroquin sagt:

      Thank you for your visit Tlemus. It is really difficult sometimes, it comes with honey but leaves you with a bitter taste at the end. Step by step is the way, I guess… as they say: „nothing is particularly hard if you break it down into small jobs.“ Hope you enjoyed it!

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