Monday, December 18, 2006


I have a problem. I procrastinate. I don't think I'm alone on this. I think lots of people procrastinate. Today's link is Procrastination: Ten Things To Know. Students know what I'm talking about. A student's room is always cleanest around exam time. It has been scientifically proven that without a doubt it is impossible to study for an exam if there is so much as a dirty sock carelessly placed out of sight under the bed, or if any pictures aren't hung perfectly straight.

Why, right now I'm procrastinating from studying for my chemistry tests next week. I have my midterm on Tuesday and the exam on Thursday. So I have a double whammy of procrastinationitis.

I find the problem with procrastination is that not only do you not get what you want/need to do done, but you don't get anything at all done.

When I say "you" I really mean "me."

Allow you to explain:

I always have a to-do list. I prioritize my to-dos. The top of the list is the highest priority, and the bottom of the list is lowest. Now, if the top of the list is something I want to do then that implies that I have nothing I need to do. That has happened about twice in the last 10 years. Being in school generally means there is stuff I have to do that I'd rather not do.

Most of the time my number one priority is something I'd rather not do, like study chemistry. Now, my number two item may be something I'd like to do, like read a good book. So my gut tells me "read the book!" but my head says "Don't do it! You have to study chemistry."

I can't, in good conscience, read the book when a higher priority item is waiting to be done. So I end up doing neither. I check my email every two minutes. I read articles on /. that I normally wouldn't read. I write useless introspective blog entries about things like procrastination. I look for new widgets for my Opera web browser. I clean my room. I watch shows I wouldn't normally take the time to watch.

So I do things that aren't even on the priority list, while the whole list suffers. That's the worst of it. I'd rather read the book at the expense of chemistry. Sure, my chemistry won't be done, but at least the book would be read.

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