By Titus Gilner
As the moon rises on yet another school night, I sit here at my laptop considering whether or not to let another deadline roll by without anything turned in by me. I weigh the pros and cons in my head and try to justify my laziness. I am tired, stupid and distracted versus I need to pass, I will always be a failure and I should not let my parents or teachers down. Why am I in this situation in the first place?
Procrastination has been around for centuries in various forms. It took Leonardo da Vinci 16 years to complete the “Mona Lisa” and he produced fewer than 20 paintings in his entire life. Though a classic, I cannot truthfully say that I enjoy procrastination in any capacity. What may have worked for people like da Vinci is not working for me.
What I am dubbing “the mirage effect” lands at the top of the list of reasons why I cannot stand behind procrastination. Next week seems a lot further away when you think about it then when it arrives tomorrow. Procrastination somehow tricks people into thinking that everything will always be in the future. That homework will always be due later, that dishes can always be done tomorrow and that our life will always be happening. We are deceived into forgetting that we are happening. Talk about an inconvenience. Such an overrated coping technique. Rather than dealing with issues and moving past them, procrastination causes us to let those issues pile on. Not a fan, very tasteless.
And as those things pile on, your life begins to snowball. Procrastination is a cycle – push something off, freak out about your pending fate, scramble – that can feel impossible to break. Tests often lead to this manifestation of procrastination. The teacher lets you know on Day One test dates and most are really good about making sure everyone is aware of changes. You are given plenty of time to prepare; to make notes, read materials or study with others. But there is always, and I mean always, something going on that is objectively better than studying for a test. Sunday evenings are the most stressful times for procrastinators. Blowing off a weekend is just too easy with procrastination.
Though da Vinci only completed a measly 20 paintings in his life span thanks to the evils of procrastination, he filled up countless notebooks with doodles of inventions and ideas (most of which were never brought to life). Doodles are nice but doodles do not pay the bills. All those cute and clever caricatures and geometric patterns and shapes covering your notes or loitering on the edges of your homework will ultimately lead you down the wrong path. Procrastination gets a hard pass from me and I think it is safe to say that anyone being honest with themselves would agree.