An ode to procrastination

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis

DOUGLAS ROCHE III | OPINION COLUMNIST | droche@butler.edu

Warning: This article contains distracting material in the form of links and may lead you down a rabbit hole of information irrelevant to your current studies. This article does not condone procrastination.

I’m sorry professor, my semester-long research paper would have been submitted before the 11:59 p.m. deadline if I hadn’t been avoiding my responsibilities. While this may be the busiest part of the semester, I don’t think I could live with myself without writing a think piece about procrastination and no other time in my life would suffice.

Writing a piece about procrastination enticed me in February, but I put it off until the last opportunity. This parallels my approach to an absurd number of papers and assignments over the years. In essence, this is a method writing exercise I reserved for the highest-stakes part of the semester.

In the midst of deadlines and final exam preparation, one must achieve opinion journalism Nirvana should they wish to take on the topic of procrastination. There simply isn’t enough time to reflect on your procrastinative tendencies — which include writing this article — without an holistic grasp of their uniquities.

Twenty million people have watched Tim Urban’s Ted Talk on procrastination. The viral video’s astonishing number of views reflects 280 million minutes of people procrastinating on some task that needed doing.

The 14-minute talk comedically explores the concept of instant gratification and the burden we procrastinators accept despite the easily recognizable and attainable changes a procrastinator can make to their routine. Rather than further paraphrasing, I suggest you just watch it, so I can dive into my own personal experience with procrastinating.

My entire academic career leading up to college was built around year-round sports team practices and competitions after school let out. When sports were not directly after the school day, I was presented with the option to either start homework or eat a meal. The latter was religiously selected, so my work would get done in the computer room with a coolmathgames.com tab hidden from my parents.

These math games were no fine wine though; with age, I sought new information my brain could absorb in place of stoichiometry or various maths. I found new rabbit holes in the form of animal videos, conspiracy narratives and reminding myself of the headache-inducing scale of the universe.

The biggest lesson my time-consuming approach to completing my schoolwork has taught me is my attraction to organized chaos. With modesty, I welcome the approaching deadline rush and have learned to promptly procrastinate.

I consider prompted procrastination as being able to map out your workflow interruption with a definitive beginning and somewhat definitive end. I don’t allow my notes and papers to get scattered and I am good about cleaning my room, but my mind is a convoluted amalgamation of both disposable and sustainable knowledge. Maybe this is rooted in my athletic and competitive upbringing, or maybe I’m just conceited.

I am a firm believer in the creative flow that is sparked by procrastinating. Letting your mind run amok reveals your most candid ideas, which can lay the foundation for any given project. Or perhaps, it could simply be a meditative exercise in the form of journal logging. While seemingly nonsensical, this form of procrastination is a productive from a personal well-being standpoint.

Do not discount the possibility of a master work coming from your poor time management. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” was composed the day before it was supposed to premiere. With that said, thank you for taking a break from the important thing you were doing to read this. I’m about to go finish that research paper soon-to-be magnum opus of libguides navigation.

Lastly, always consider the conspicuously broken clause. If your disposable information intake is destructive to your health, relationships or academic performance, reevaluate. Otherwise, good luck on your studies and happy mind wandering.

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  1. Pingback: An ode to procrastination – The Butler Collegian | Power Over Procrastination

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