Professional Procrastinator

By Victoria O’Connor

LOGOS ASSOCIATE EDITOR

I stare onto my computer screen at 3:25 a.m. with only my name and date typed on the document that has yet to be titled.

With less than six hours left to turn in my assignment, I curse myself for being at this point of time; compared to earlier in the week when my free time was spent searching YouTube videos and snooping through Facebook.

With five minutes left until class begins, I rush to the nearest printer and pray my unnecessary stress and late-night panic results in a grade worth losing hours of sleep for.

Some may argue my lesson learned should be better time management. My actual lesson was learning how to improve my procrastination to a productive level.

How many of us have been there? Waiting until the last minute to do something and finding out the results end up being just as good, if not better, than if we had actually done the task ahead of time.

Though many would not promote procrastination as a helpful tool, I have always found it to be the only way to produce quality work.

As crazy as it may sound, procrastination brings out the spark of creativity one might be desperately searching for. Working against the clock creates an intense focus that can power through the lengthiest of assignments.

Considering the fact my concentration in my communication arts major is in journalism and my job is writing for the Logos, the irony of me being a procrastinator in a field pressed for time still makes me wonder.

Throughout the years I have tried keeping up with planners, time management methods and using Post-it note reminders. None of these methods have worked for me. In fact, these methods leave me feeling unwilling to expect the unexpected.

But with the criticism that comes with procrastination, backlash and unsolicited lectures on time management were always given to me when I worked to the last minute.

I always assumed there was something wrong with me because of my inability to stay organized. No matter the method, it was not going to work for me.

Rather than being upset at myself for procrastinating, I learned to embrace it.

Embrace all of its pros and cons and learn how to use it to an advantage. When learning how to do so, I found out other people had the same idea as me in learning the benefits procrastination had to offer.

In the end, my work would be graded and recognized with commendable results.

Guess you can say I love the pressure. Many people can challenge me on how to get a task done, but it’s hard to find ways to challenge myself. Forcing myself to work through the panic is what makes my love for writing more exciting.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep organized and start work ahead of time. For most people it saves them from stress and helps keep them at the top of their game.

But in my case, planning ahead is just not my cup of tea. I want to produce writing that feels natural and in the moment. Not rehearsed or trying too hard.

While trying to perfect my procrastination method, I have realized what works for me, how much can be done within an hour, and what the quality of my writing will be when it’s finished.

So here are a few words of encouragement to all my procrastinators, slackers and lollygaggers. Don’t worry what others say about your methods. If waiting till the last moment works for you, then embrace it. Find ways to make it work to your advantage and prove the naysayers wrong.

Challenge yourself. Don’t think about how it should be written, just start writing. You may find you have more ideas and material to write on than you originally thought.

Last, don’t ever sell yourself short. If you are going to stress yourself late at night over an assignment, make sure your work is the best you can create.

Eventually the work will be done and the payoff will be worth it.

So keep on procrastinating.

 

E-mail O’Connor at voconnor@student.uiwtx.edu

 

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