Living with Procrastination
By Emily Geyer
“Concentrate, Emily, you need to make a list of things you need to do, and complete the list this time.”
This is a thought that goes through my head on a daily basis. Remember you have to do this. Remember you have to do that. It is pretty exhausting keeping myself on track.
Beep. Buzz. Boop. There goes my phone, notifying me about a text message, or something dealing with my social media profiles.
“Concentrate. Turn your sound off."
"What if I miss something important?"
"Is schoolwork not important, too?”
Technology, hands down, may be the biggest distraction known to humankind. It is also one of the biggest forms of procrastination in my life, probably because there is always something going on or changing to grab my attention, which is not something very hard to do.
I’m currently procrastinating while typing this essay on my computer by taking breaks to check my Twitter and Facebook feeds for news and notifications. Most of the time I’ll tell myself that I am only going to check those sites or the applications on my phone for a couple minutes and end up spending an hour doing absolutely nothing productive. It is a huge problem.
I feel as though the only time I’m truly able to focus on something is when I’m reading because I’m able to fully immerse myself into a good story. I believe that is what truly makes someone a good writer, being able to captivate readers so that they feel they are in the story themselves.
Maybe that is just me. I know that when I read a good book and I immerse myself in it, I believe I feel the same feelings as the characters or even I feel for them. I guess the same could be said for the authors of those books because without, at the very least, thinking about the conflicts in their stories, how would they know how to portray them in their writing?
“Hmm, what a thought. I wonder how other people feel about that?”
There I go again, procrastinating. Sometimes I feel as though I have ADD because my mind wanders so much and I become distracted so easily. So maybe it isn’t me procrastinating so much as me lacking concentration.
“Maybe I should look up the definition to be sure. Would that be considered procrastinating or research?” It is a good thought.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online, "procrastination" means “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done; to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.” Well, then, I guess lacking concentration is part of procrastination.
Although I usually procrastinate because I’m lazy, other times I find myself procrastinating because I need some sort of inspiration. This is especially true when it comes to writing. Writing can be either a daunting task or a very simple one; my guess is that it depends on the person and the topic. For me, I feel I have both problems.
I tend to procrastinate more when I have something I know I have
time to get done. For example, I recently had a story for a journalism class due and I, of course, put it off until the last minute because I knew I had time to “work” on it, a.k.a. "procrastinate."
Every time I procrastinate like this I tell myself, “Emily, you do this every time you have something due — YOU NEED TO PLAN AHEAD!”
The next day, I’ll completely forget about my procrastination problem and will continue as though it never happened. What is wrong with me? Is there something I can do to help solve this problem? I took to the Internet to put my procrastination and/or research methods to work to find an answer.
According to California Polytechnic State University’s Student
Academic Services website on procrastination, it “is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to some degree or another.”
The website goes on to list multiple ways to help resolve procrastination, some of which seem really helpful; for example:
This website proves there is help out there; I just needed to stop procrastinating and look for it. If I use these tips, as well as others shown on the Cal Poly Student Academic Services’ website, I believe that I can help improve my terrible problem with procrastination. I can also expand my search further to find other ways to help stop procrastinating. I hope that with this new-found knowledge, I can help my peers who suffer from procrastination, as well.
The future looks bright — there is help for my kind, as long as I follow some steps to help not only organize my tasks but also make them seem not so large and difficult.
“There you go, Em. It’s a simple fix. – WE CAN DO THIS!”
Read more about Emily Geyer on her personal blog.