By Alexus Brock
I won’t even lie to you. For the longest time, the title of this article was, “When is this due?” The answer: A week ago.
Procrastination is a word that has long held a very negative connotation, and this is understandable, to a certain extent. Too many times people use the word procrastination as a synonym to the word “lazy” or “unwilling.” Although this can be the case for some, for example the student reading this who has about two weeks of math assignments that have not yet been started, procrastination is actually an avenue many do choose to take although they may have an abundance of time to work on a project or assignment. Some work better underneath the constant pressure of a deadline. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you may check out Stanford philosopher and professor John Perry’s newest book titled, “Structured Procrastination.” But of course, for your procrastinators out there, I’ll give you the recap. According to Perry, “procrastinators rarely do absolutely nothing, instead of various projects they engage themselves in more activities, which in turn, typically reduces their stress levels. Many procrastinators abide by the idea that if you limit the amount of commitments you’re in, you’re standing for quality as opposed to quantity. Dr. Perry, a head professor at Stanford later stated, “‘The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one,’he wrote. ‘The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.’” Although this professor is an efficient procrastinator, that’s not necessarily saying his fellow professors who don’t procrastinate are doing something wrong. For example, procrastination can be viewed on the same spectrum as multi-tasking. Both are strategies that have upsides and downsides, they’re just foils of one another.
What students need to realize is they can do what works best for them as long as they are producing quality work. As for me, I can’t sit down and do absolutely nothing, and even if I wanted to. But for others, a break in an intensive work schedule is a must. This doesn’t make you a less productive or efficient worker. This simply makes you a different worker.
No matter what group you align with, it’s always a good idea to allow yourself to work in various ways. For example, you procrastinators: write your homework assignments down on a sticky note so you don’t forget them. Multi-taskers: If you leave your planner at home for one day, you’ll survive. Don’t become so engulfed in documenting your work as opposed to doing it.
Procrastination doesn’t always mean you won’t have quality work. For example, whether I title my article now or later, you still chose to read the article that did have a title. The title just happened to be the product of my procrastination.