After coming back from Winter Break, nobody wants to deal with actual school work. So, while procrastinating on my officer duties for GSA and daydreaming about all the homework I’m not going to do, I did a random Google Search of “procrastination.” I found a bunch of articles entitled “Beating Procrastination” and “How to Stop Procrastinating: 10 Steps.” If I jumped back into work after two weeks of vacation, my brain would’ve exploded. I mean, with all of the long hours of midnight bowling and the prolonged days of analyzing every episode of Dr. Phil since 2012, there was no way I could’ve returned to the tedium of school life. I wanted to know whether there were ever any situations in which procrastinating is good thing? Or am I just procrastinating by writing this article? The answers are yes and yes.
Procrastination is something that I’ve gotten down to a science, which is saying something because I’m terrible at science. In fact, I’m only writing this so that I can put off doing actual research on how to procrastinate in a positive way. Okay. Here I go.
“Structured procrastination is a term coined by John Perry, author of How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done. It is the art of shaping procrastinators into useful human beings who turn this bad habit into a quality that works for them. According to Perry, “The procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely, and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.”
In order to effectively procrastinate, one must screw up all of their priorities. Create a list of things that must be done, with the most important on the top and the least important on the bottom and then perform the tasks on the list backwards. Actually writing the list will help put off doing anything on the list.
Structured procrastination doesn’t make tasks any easier. It just turns one huge, daunting tasks into tiny, achievable tasks. According to Perry, it’s all about self-deception. Dedicating oneself to tasks with deadlines and inflated importance makes people feel important and urgent and dreaded tasks seem easier to accomplish.
There are also several ways that I’ve found that help me procrastinate. For instance, having a job is a great excuse to procrastinate. I have to be at work at 3:45 p.m., so that doesn’t leave me much time in between school and work to do AP English homework. I usually tell myself that I’ll do part of it at lunch and finish the rest once I get home, but that rarely happens.
I procrastinate on taking out the trash by hurrying to finish any homework I have. I get off of work at about 7:45 p.m. and get home at about 8:00pm. If my mother is home by then, she’ll ask me to take out the trash, to which I’ll reply that I have work to do for English, I’ll take it out after school tomorrow. Sooner or later, there will be nothing left to do and no excuses to use so I’ll be forced to take out the trash.
Is my pattern catching on? Eventually, everything gets done. Whether I finish my homework the night before class or twenty minutes before class, it all gets done. Thus, making me an efficient member of society. Like John Perry states in his essay, “what could be more noble than using one character flaw to offset the effects of another?”
So, what does this say about self-proclaimed procrastinators like myself? Let me think about it and I’ll edit this article tomorrow.