Delay for Which You Pay

March 20, 2018
By , Mason, OH

I’m best under pressure. Sure, I want to scream my head off because I did this to myself, but it works.
I procrastinate on just about everything. From this assignment to the very first one I did as a kid (except for in middle school, maybe just had a spark of ingenuity where I did assignments before I even got them). I don't know why. It might be because I can’t make up my mind about anything. Whether it’s the topic I have to choose to write about or the food I want or the outfit I’m wearing to school. I have no idea. The stress builds up and when it lets loose, quickly I make a decision. It’s that simple. I feel manipulated by time--so much of it goes by so quickly, and in the end it’s that easy.


But I won’t change. It’s like a habit, but also a stress relief. I feel as if I’m being controlled by a clock, but proud that I can beat it. If I turn in something 5 minutes before it’s due, I’m not all that proud because I turned it in almost late, but the thing is it wasn’t actually late.


I think I do it because there are so many choices in life. How do you express yourself correctly? How do you know that what you’re doing is the right thing to do? If people like it, appreciate it, compliment it.


I’m being very general here. There aren’t that many things I can procrastinate on as a student in High School. But as I continue to grow, I worry that I won’t be able to make any decisions because of how indecisive I am. What college do I want to go to? What career do I want? I might not be the only one who feels like they don't know what they’re doing, but it sure feels like it most times.


The most common cause of procrastination is the fear of failure. It makes sense. You don't want to fail if you do the assignment therefore you don't do the assignment until it’s the last minute to work on it so you aren’t able to look over it to see if it was the best you could’ve done. I think you can always improve, deadlines get in the way in that. But at the same time, perfectionism is the second-most common cause of procrastination and for that, I appreciate deadlines.


Psychologists say that mood is a major factor in the decision to procrastinate. If you have a desire to improve your mood in the short term (not make yourself feel bad about procrastinating), that’s known as a downward counterfactual compared to an upward counterfactual where you learn from the anxiety because you dawdled. I go through many downward counterfactuals a week.


I think it’s bad because when I procrastinate because I’m doing it to get it done, not to understand or process it, as a teacher once told me. And most times that's true, but at least I completed those assignments and tasks. At least I completed this. And I’m kinda proud of it.






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