Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I recently read (most of) an article about constructive procrastination. I got bored halfway through the article and started thinking about unconstructive procrastination. I then realized that I was procrastinating reading an article about procrastination, by thinking about procrastination, while already procrastinating doing work. And so I went further into this double, or triple, entendre and wrote a blog entry about a past instance of procrastination:

Simply being in the library made me feel like I was being productive. I could be chatting on AIM, whispering to a friend, watching The Office with headphones, whatever, the fact that I was in the library was enough to allow myself to take a break from work. If it was 9pm I calculated that if I wrote a page every hour until 7am (yes, I was queen of all-nighters in college) I would have 10 pages written with a few hours left to edit and proofread before the 9am deadline. The next 8 hours or so would consist of complete and utter disaster. I would convince a friend to join me on my all night adventure in the library. A passionate, two hour, whispered conversation over Lost theories would ensue, followed by a trip to Café Brazil “to try a new setting” (result: an indulgence in French toast and coffee, no work accomplished, and a drive back to prison, I mean the library). Then sleep deprivation and the caffeine would kick in causing a series of hysterical laughter set off by nothing humorous whatsoever (a sneeze, pencil breaking, door slamming, floor creaking, you name it). Although it’s hours before the deadline I feel confident I will succeed in writing an A worthy paper. I convince myself that this is how I work—these hours of avoiding productivity are a part of the process. I need the procrastination in order to succeed. Suddenly, it’s 4am and panic strikes. Fear of failure kicks in. I am terrified I will not finish. I imagine my professor shaking his head in disappointment as he writes an enormous red F written at the top of my pathetic paper and I become furious I have wasted so much time… I emerge from the library at 8:55am, blinking in the bright sunlight. I barely remember the last five hours. Somehow, my inner genius showed up, took over my body, and produced a paper. I have no idea if it’s an A or a C paper. Who cares. I finished. It’s over.

As is your (and my) procrastination period.

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