Three hours before my plane was to take off, I was sitting in my bed, watching random clips from Keeping Up with the Kardashians on my phone. “Are you only bringing a carry-on?” a text from my friend appeared on the screen.
“Oh I haven’t started packing yet,” I replied and added a smirk emoji. After another thirty minutes of my random-clip-watching-session, I packed in twenty minutes and arrived at airport right on time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love work! I love it so much that I can sit and stare at my work for hours. But why do things in a timely manner when you can finish them last minute, right? As a professional procrastinator, I am well aware of the benefits of procrastinating: I have more time for funny memes, Netflix, and naps. I am also better at handling stress when a due date approaches, and I get to try different kinds of coffee. Sound tempting? Start procrastinating today!
My experience in procrastinating has obliged me to teach you some of the basic principles of procrastinating to optimize your procrastinating experience. This guide answers all of your questions and concerns about procrastination whether you are a longtime procrastinator or a highly responsible procrastination wannabe who is tired of revising your essays five times before submitting them and cannot wait to have a more “chill” college experience.
First of all, plan ahead. You should always know everything you need to accomplish (everything except the actual work, of course) before you start doing it. Similar to a bucket list, I have a “before-work” list in my head where I list all the things I want to do before I start working. Sometimes the list includes online shopping for clothes that I do not need at all, binge watching all ten seasons of Friends for the eleventh time, or indulging in some weirdly satisfying slime videos on Instagram. Once you have an exhaustive list, you must make sure that you do not miss any fun you want to have before diving into work. Everyone knows that it is always more important to prioritize fun because YOLO, am I right? Who wants to spend their whole lives worrying about homework when it is so much more interesting to just stare at the home screen of your phone?
Second, as college students, we want to make our parents proud and reassure them that they are not paying 40,000 dollars a year so that we can watch slime videos. (But in reality, watching slime videos is what we really want.) How do we resolve this conflict? Well, I have a trick that you can try on your parents: Facetime your parents every week. Your parents are the people who will love and support you unconditionally, and the least you can do is to talk to them regularly. Besides, this is a good opportunity to show how much of a diligent student you are (not). When you facetime your parents, do not forget to sit in front of your laptop, and type random things on it every three minutes. That’s when your parents would ask you: “What are you working on, honey?” “Oh nothing important, just a research paper on Alzheimer and its treatment.” BOOM! That’s how you make your parents proud and with minimum effort give them something to brag about during their lunchtime at work.
Last but not least, practice makes perfect. In the beginning months of procrastination, you might miss a couple of due dates, pull some all-nighters, skip a few classes, but trust me, you will master the skills of procrastination eventually. So please DO NOT GIVE UP! It is normal to have thoughts of quitting when you feel like procrastination is causing your grades to drop severely or you to be extremely sleep deprived. Some common things quitters would say include: “He who hesitates is last,” “When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller,” “Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the weak-minded,” etc. But at the same time, do not forget that he or she who hesitates is the one that spends the least time working; maybe the hill will not be smaller but waiting makes climbing a lot more “chill,” and why can’t we be friends with the dragons of delay? They are, like, the coolest magical creatures ever! Life really starts the moment you master procrastination. After a few months of practicing procrastinating, I was finally able to put off my homework for hours and still manage to finish it on time.
Some people say procrastination is like a credit card; it is a lot of fun until you get the bill. I partly agree with that. It is a lot of fun. Can you imagine actually having to make money before buying stuff? Just as I cannot imagine a world without credit cards, I cannot imagine a world without procrastination. Can you imagine getting all the work done as soon as it is assigned so that you have plenty of time to work even longer revising? Can you imagine having your phone right by your hands and not touching it? Procrastination is the survival skill of the 21st century!