I swear if procrastination were an Olympic sport, I would take gold every single Games – always in a last-second victory, just under the wire, with minimal effort, based on sheer natural talent, with the only training received having come from my last performance in the Games.
The thing is, I get constant positive reinforcement.
All through middle school, high school, college, and now even my Master’s program, if something is due Sunday night at midnight and I’ve had a week to do it, you better believe I’m starting that baby, be it a five-paragraph essay or a five-page paper, most likely after 10pm on Sunday.
And like I said, I get positive reinforcement.
I never fail a paper because I put two hours of work into it. The only time I’ve gotten a poor mark on a paper was when the professor required a rough draft and then a final draft a week later. That paper was shit. It was disjointed and potentially the worst paper I’d ever written.
For one of my classes in this program, we had to do a final project/paper, I believe the paper was 8-10 pages, so pretty standard for a final paper. Due at midnight on a Saturday of course. I spent the day doing God-knows what, probably watching tv or whatever. Around 6pm, I begrudgingly got up from the couch and made my way over to the computer. After about an hour of further procrastination, I finally started. Eight pages and fifteen references later, I turned in my paper about five minutes to midnight. Got a B. I talked to a fellow classmate of mine who said he also got a B after working on it for about nineteen hours. I don’t know if I’ve ever spent nineteen hours on homework in a semester.
The problem is that I need to have one channel of thought. Like most people, my mood changes daily – I guess I should say, like most women. My opinions and ideas change daily, also, not that I’m wishy-washy. It’s just very obvious in my writing if I start and stop.
Take Fifty Shades of Grey, for example. That book is one channel of thought. One chapter ends at night and the next chapter picks up the next morning. I think that’s part of the reason it was such an easy read. The reader doesn’t really have to stop and think about what happened before, it’s right there. That’s how I would have to write a book, if ever I was to write one. And let’s be honest, I’d have to sit down and write the whole damn thing in one sitting.
I like this quality about me. As long as I have a deadline, I get things done.
This can also backfire.
Right now, I’m working on working out. And cutting calories. It’s a complete joy and I just live for it. I keep telling myself that I don’t want to go to London out-of-shape. Well, then I need to make sure that I’m in-shape before London. Right? Right. But I don’t have an actual date set… so naturally, I’m not making much progress. Too little motivation. As soon as I know exactly when I’m leaving, I’ll be able to say, okay, I have X number of weeks, gotta get a move on it.
I don’t have that impending doom. I don’t have the right amount of stress to get me moving. There’s not enough adrenaline flowing.
It’s like with my papers for school – there’s absolutely no fun in starting a paper at 1pm on a Saturday with a midnight Sunday due date, and especially no fun in starting it any earlier than that.
I’m not a skydiver, but that’s probably a good thing – I’d be the one pulling the ‘chute at the lowest possible height.
I was home sick today watching the latter half of Flashpoint season four. There’s an awesomely nerve-wracking episode in which the techie/bomb guy, Spike, has to diffuse the most sophisticated bomb he’s ever seen, and he doesn’t know exactly how long he’s got to do it. Even in the final seconds, he’s making sarcastic comments or walking his team through how he’s come up with the answer before he finally enters the right code to stop it from detonating. I have a feeling that would be me. Especially because of the sarcasm, but also because things are more exciting when there’s a time constraint.
That’s the other thing I do really well, besides sarcasm – delay. It goes hand in hand with procrastination. Even as I’m working on a paper due within the hour, I can still manage to deviate to a website, or spend precious seconds shuffling through my iTunes. Hello, I can’t write to something to which I can sing or dance. The right soundtrack is important.
Conclusion: if I’m going to do something, I need an actual deadline with some sort of imposing threat if I don’t meet it.
I mean, it’s not like they won’t let me through UK customs with a few extra pounds on me. In fact, they’ll encourage it. Gotta boost the economy somehow, right? Pounds… like British Pounds… but we use pounds for weight… get it? Punny right?