The Power of Prcrastination This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When faced with too much work, an individual might wish for a break. Soon enough, this person will shrug off his obligations and take the much-needed break. Yet, as I have done myself, the individual will not always return to the task at hand. People constantly mistake not doing the work with the act of procrastination, but in truth, procrastination is entirely different. Yes, procrastination includes stepping away from work, but it doesn’t include not completing the work. In fact, procrastination can help the whole work process.

This concept of work-inducing procrastination doesn’t make sense to many, but it’s quite simple: By taking breaks from work, one can avoid overwork.

For example, if a student was given too much homework, she might try to tackle the assignments wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, if the student continued to get that amount of homework, she could lose hope of ever having fun or free time. In no time, the student would start to do poorly in school, despite her hard work.

Procrastination keeps this from happening by breaking up periods of work with periods of play, an industrial yin and yang. Of course, there is no need for a person to use procrastination if he does not have too much work to deal with. But when a person is close to being buried, procrastination keeps the worker from falling under too much pressure. And for those who are interested in procrastination, here are a few techniques to get the most out of it.

First, prioritize the work to be procrastinated. Never take time away from a task because it is the least fun. Instead, be smart and work on the task that must be completed soonest.

Second, one can procrastinate in advance of an obligation in the near future, and keep an easier task incomplete for that day. Have an arsenal of unfinished work to get out of doing unpleasant jobs. Many is the time that, when faced with a daunting task (like mowing the lawn or shooting possums off the back porch), I have suddenly remembered a half-finished math assignment or a creative writing piece due the very next day.

Procrastination is like George Bush making a speech; mistakes are commonly made. There are also actions a procrastinator must be sure to avoid.

One, a procrastinator must never forget that he is procrastinating only to better his work experience. Procrastination can escalate into laziness, where the person doesn’t do the work. To keep this from happening, a procrastinator must never procrastinate on a task just because he doesn’t like it. Procrastination should be used only when in danger of becoming overwhelmed.

Also, a procrastinator should never do any work while on a break. This would be completely contradictory to the purpose, even the definition, of procrastination. When on a break, be sure to do something that contains no stress, no effort, and preferably no relevance to the work.

So, take my teachings to heart. Your overworked self is no more! Spread awareness of procrastination throughout the world; shout it from the rooftops. Or, if you have a lot of work today, shout it some other time.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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