Putting it off

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Putting it off

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Caleb Miller

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Caleb Miller

Caleb Miller

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Caleb Miller, Staff Writer

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Procrastination is, by definition, the action of delaying or postponing something. This could be anything. In most cases, though, it’s putting off work or something that you don’t want to do: homework, going to the gym, homework, studying, practicing and the main one, homework.

I have been told that I was born a procrastinator (which makes sense since I was born a week late). Moving forward, my ability to put things off only got worse. From elementary school into my middle school projects, and even this year. There’s no way that I could keep track of the number of times I’ve been awake at 2 a.m. finishing a chemistry lab that was due later that day. Although I’ve also wondered, is this really the best way to go through life?

A study conducted by Pychyl reported that those who procrastinate often experienced more negative emotions, and with good reason. When there’s always the overarching image of impending work looming over someone for days or weeks at a time, it’s no wonder someone might begin to feel the pressure.

Now, although it’s not questioned about whether it exists, many people who are dubbed “non-procrastinators” cannot seem to understand how or why someone would procrastinate. During a presentation in Vancouver, Tim Urban, a writer of the blog “Wait But Why” coined the term of a place called “the dark playground,” a place where productivity is lost and we find ourselves doing the dumbest, most irrelevant things. What things, you ask? Things like spiraling off in YouTube videos or messing around with a Rubik’s cube for a half-hour. The main point is that procrastinators seem to have another voice in their heads that will blur the line between fun and productivity. Not to say that breaks are bad, but two hours of playing 2048 might be a bit much.

The worst part is that while we will indistinctly put off an essay for Spanish or a book that we’re reading, dragging our feet when it comes to larger goals like helping out around the community or making our own startup project brings the bar to a whole new level. Where will we ever go if we postpone our big move for next time? Whether it’s next week or next year, we can’t expect to go anywhere or attain our goals if we never take the first step.

So, where do we go? Newton’s First Law of Motion says that a body at rest will stay at rest until forced to do otherwise. So let’s do the otherwise. Eliminate the distraction. Mute the notifications. Go somewhere where you don’t have the option to put it off. Find the little ways that will force you to pay attention. But tomorrow is coming and one of these days we’ll have to choose. Are you going to start?