By Randi Titus ’19
Hi, my name is Randi Titus, and I am a procrastinator.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: “everybody procrastinates sometimes,” or, the classic, “you just have to be more focused.”
I assure you, I have heard it all and tried it all before. Every solution, quick fix and goal
to strive for has had absolutely no effect on my chronic condition. After numerous attempts to eradicate my procrastination tendencies, I have come to the conclusion that maybe my procrastination really isn’t such a problem after all. While there might be a measly number of negatives, I find that the positives definitely tip the scale.
My condition always rears its debilitating head when a big project is coming around. I think that procrastination actually causes me to forget assignments. I don’t just mean, “Oh, I don’t want to do that, so I’ll wait until the day before,” but rather I have no recollection whatsoever of an assignment until hours before something is due. A project assigned a month before might as well be assigned the very day before. Even reminders from others seem to go in one ear and directly out of the other.
This assignment amnesia can have its downfalls, but I personally see it as a great thing. The weeks and days before a deadline are always filled with frantic students, worrying friends and thousands and thousands of questions. I am luckily not a part of this group. After a project is assigned, I am as cool as a cucumber, as calm as a summer sea and as relaxed as a freshly fed baby. I live in a stress free zone, floating in my ignorant bliss.
While my carefree demeanor is a huge plus, the biggest positive of procrastination by far is the sleep. I never seem to get a better night’s sleep than when I have something to do, or something due, the very next day. Despite what you might think, my restful nights always begin with a relatively productive thought. I know I have a big assignment to do, but can I really give something my “best go” if I am tired? Of course not! So, before you know it I am engaged in a deep slumber, filled with dreams and wonder.
As I told you, my memories of an assignment return to me the day before the deadline. So, my sleep is purely meant to give me the energy to do my best work. In order to leave myself enough time to finish the project, I set alarms.
This system, no matter how hard I try to convince myself, is not foolproof. It turns out that as easily as you can set an alarm, you can just as easily turn that alarm right back off and maybe even throw that ringing phone across the room.
Because procrastination has been a lifelong affliction, I have found a way around this. One alarm is easily switched off, but ten, back to back, is a different story. Eventually the struggle of reaching for that phone will wake you right up.
Now, you might be worried, thinking, “How can she finish a project in the early hours of the morning, and get a good grade?” Fear not because only the best work is produced at two o’clock in the morning. As the clock strikes two, the creative juices start flowing. Ideas fill your brain, designs create themselves and your goals are set. The assignment really writes itself. In my opinion all of my best work has been made with only minutes to spare.
After hearing all of this, the word “lazy” is probably shooting through your mind. You’re probably convinced that I am just unmotivated and irresponsible. I would venture to say that nothing is further from the truth. When you have five hours to write a six-page paper, you kick into overdrive. You lock into a focus so intense that nothing can get in your way. Motivation and dedication do not fully cover the level of work that must be done to complete the task.
Procrastination is an equal opportunity attacker. Not only are assignments forgotten, but everyday requests or favors are iffy at best. Something as simple as, “Can you send me the notes,” can be a long process. If you ask me while I am engaged in another task, I will undoubtedly say, “Of course, I’ll send them as soon as I am done.” This never happens. Procrastination steps in, and I suddenly never heard you. I need at least two reminders, or I need the person standing directly in front of me to jumpstart me into action.
The college application process was no exception. Kellenberg students were given a deadline to submit a list of schools that we were applying to into college placement. My ailment actually changed the words due date into suggested date. So, imagine my surprise when I was called down to answer for my lateness. While my procrastination can be seen as a bad thing in this situation, I saw it as a great motivator. If I do say so myself, I think that those numerous college essays I wrote in one day were the cream of the crop.
All in all, my condition has never failed me. While waiting until the last minute might not be optimal, the pros definitely justify it. Who can say that with trimesters approaching she slept like a baby the night before? Who, but a procrastinator, can say that with a research paper due in a week she had no worries? Because of my experience, I see no reason why everybody shouldn’t just procrastinate. Imagine all of the sleep that could be caught up on and the worry that could be saved. But really, I wrote this an hour ago, so what do I know.
By Randi Titus ’19