As I am writing right now, I am taking a ‘study break’ from a tutorial presentation I have to give in six days. Nothing massive, just a ten minute speech and then some questions for the class to lead a discussion for, but still I’m not doing the work.
Procrastination isn’t genetic in my family, for my parents were both hard workers, but my siblings and I all seem to be proficient in the skill. I am genuinely proud of the fact I did an entire research essay the day before it was due in. So instead of doing what I should be doing of course I am researching the psychology behind procrastination.
A simple definition of procrastination is the avoidance of an important task by doing more pleasurable tasks. This makes sense, we all want to do what we want to do rather than what we have to do, especially if it’s not pleasurable for us. But it comes down to self control, those of us who are disciplined in various walks of life (ie exercise, health, sleeping patterns, work) are also disciplined when it comes to things we don’t want to but have to do. Self control can of course be developed if you don’t possess it but like most things it must be trained and regularly used. This creates more problems because the main issue with procrastination is that it is based on emotion. We are telling ourselves that our metal health takes precedent (it does don’t get me wrong), but we let that get us into a downward spiral of “I don’t feel like it today, I’ll do it tomorrow” until suddenly the stress is overwhelming more than the feeling of not wanting to do it ever was. This is getting in the way of our goals which is more of a strain on mental health than a few more episodes of your favourite netflix series.
So the solution? Nut up or shut up. If you’re complaining about the amount of work you have you have to actually do it and not just spend your life whinging, I may be good at procrastinating but I’m also good at working hard when it counts. I have goals and I’m going to reach them, even if sometimes I procrastinate, I will make sure I always get it done and don’t fall behind. This research trip was a wake up call if nothing else to remind me that I don’t sympathise with those who just wait for other people to solve their problems , I am 19, I am perfectly capable of solving my own problems.
I procrastinate and I complain, but I get it done.
Why do I continue to procrastinate? Because I don’t let myself fall behind too much so that procrastinating becomes problematic.