Monday, December 6, 2010

"Overcoming Procrastination"

"Overcoming Procrastination." that's the title of the handout that somehow found its way to me as i walked through the wilk today. let's read it together:

Ignore the Task: Do you ever think that if you jut ignore the task it will go away?

Why yes I do. I justify this practice by telling myself I'm practicing my powers of imagination, which are crucial to any artist's well-being.

Underestimate the Work and/or Overestimate your Abilities: Do you underestimate the work involved in the task, or overestimate your abilities and resources in relationship to the task?

Does saving a research paper, a 15-source Annotated Bibliography, a lesson plan, 257 pages of novel reading, 10 pages of Norton Anthology reading (those of you who are lit people know the equivalency ratio: I believe it's 1 pg Norton = 10,000 pgs regular), and a presentation for the morning that they're all due qualify as underestimating the work and/or overestimating my abilities?

Become Distracted by Repeated Delays: Do you find yourself wasting time on small unimportant tasks at the expense of larger more important ones?

Yeah this is pretty much my I'm blog-writing instead of writing 2 10-page papers, reading Theory...well, you get the picture. Again, though, I justify this--I'm building my creative writing skills, right? And as for all the cooking I've accomplished this semester instead of studying, well, I'm sure it will be to a good end someday.

Dramatize Commitment to a Task: Do you dramatize commitment to a task rather than actually doing it?

I'm fond of talking about all the stuff I have to do (as demonstrated above), and yet rarely am I really as busy as I construct myself to be. It's unintentional, I mean, in my mind I'm really busy, or should be really busy, I'm sure. And yet I still had time to watch Christmas movies every night last week.

Waste Time Deciding Between Alternative Choices: Do you waste an unnecessary amount of time deciding between alternative choices?

Time AND paper. I make extensive lists of all the things I have to accomplish, followed by detailed schedules of when I will accomplish it all. The great thing is that everyday I feel the need to make a new list. I have stacks of lists of things I have to do. They all say the same things, but I think my brain gets some weird sense of gratification--or accomplishment--by writing what I have to do, as if the act of writing were as good as actually completing the task!

Okay. So clearly I have a problem. Now, I could wrap this whole thing up with some clever (albeit cliche) sentence about how 'I'm going to start overcoming my procrastination problem...tomorrow!' but I'll spare you the eye-roll and I'll spare me the commitment to something that we all know I'm not actually going to do. Because let's be honest: procrastination works for me. In fact, I think I produce my best stuff in the wee hours of the morn. Sick though it is, knowing I only have 5 hours to write a term paper gives me just the right amount of adrenaline to produce the good stuff. Some people like jumping off cliffs. I like writing term papers at 4 am. That's all there is to it.

Procrastinators of the world, I will see you in the library! I'll be the girl playing speed scrabble amidst stacks and stacks of books.


  1. lol -

    how funny that i should be reaading the paper, which you should've written earlier for 610, right now before class -

    yeah... pithy, Carolyn :)