My Procrastination Problem

So, I meant to write this blog last night… But I didn’t. Which is why I’m here now, writing it the morning it’s supposed to be posted. And that, my friends, is called procrastination. Perhaps you’ve heard a thing or two about it, maybe a rumor, or an unabridged and long-winded story about it from your great uncle, who’s no good at story-telling but likes to take his listeners on a real journey while he’s got your attention, and he really thinks he’s funny and just keeps going on and on and on and then he gets off on another tangent and you’re like, “Great Uncle Bobby, where is this all headed?” Anyway, this procrastination thing is kind of my life right now.

I’m just going to throw this out there, that I usually do write these blogs the night before they go up, but I’m just on such a roll with the procrastination kick that I had to go all out and completely give it all up. It’s a snowball effect. I feel like once you start procrastinating, every other part of your life starts slipping, too. Oh, I ran out of time to do the reading assignment? Looks like I’ll put off doing my workbook exercises in order to slightly catch up with the reading, and then suddenly I’m four reading assignments behind, three workbook exercises behind, and a whole slew of angry uncompleted homework assignments are gathered around my front door like a mob of unsatisfied customers looking for attention and a fair shot. But I just won’t answer the door because I know they’re out there, and it’s not going to be easy talking them all down from their angry horses with their flaring nostrils.

In fact, I’d rather go off on a tangent about how uncompleted homework assignments are somehow like a dissatisfied mob than to actually just freaking write this blog and get it done with. Like I said, it’s a snowball effect. Or an angry mob, gathered around your door, pitchforks and torches blazing… Sorry, my bad.

Do we all care to take a smoke break right about now? I don’t smoke, but I could pick it up if it gave me a valid excuse to step away from writing this for a few moments.

Anyway, I’ve got this big semester-long project due today and I’ve completely dropped the ball on it. It being a “semester-long” project means I knew about it from the first day of class. Guess when I started it? Answer: I’m actually not going to tell you because I’m so ashamed. The more recent your guess though, the closer you would be to the correct answer. I hate myself. Clearly.

I just wanna know what it is I ever did to myself that made me wanna throw myself under the bus like this. Oh right– I had valid excuses. Like, “I have other homework that’s due tomorrow to work on instead of this intangible concept of a project due way off in the horizon on the cusp of Never Land.” If you don’t believe in it, the project doesn’t exist. Until finals week. That’s when we have to face the music. And the music is angsty punk music. Gah.

You know what? I haven’t clipped my nails in a while, I should definitely go do that right now. In fact, as I was walking to my bathroom to retrieve the nail clippers, some lint on the floor caught my attention. When’s the last time I vacuumed? I should vacuum, too. I mean, it seems like a time-sensitive matter. I don’t want all this lint to build up today and then tomorrow I’ll be too overwhelmed by all the lint. I shouldn’t procrastinate on vacuuming. I mean, it’s a really pertinent task. Okay, I’ll vacuum.

Ugh, no! Shit, I’ll vacuum in two hours. After I sit down and put some serious time into this blog and then some serious time into this big project. Two hours of focused work. Two hours… Aw, Juliet is so cute. Do you know Juliet? She’s my cat. Right now she’s rubbing against my leg. C’mere Juliet… Oh no, you laid down across my laptop? You little rascal. Now I can’t do my homework. I’m still putting in time towards those two hours though because I am sitting in front of my laptop. The possibility is there to do work, so it counts. Don’t look at me like that– it counts! So I’ll just pull out my phone and try to get inspiration from Facebook (ha!) while I wait for Juliet to stop being so cute and remove herself from my laptop. (Ugh she’s such an enabler. It’s like her sole purpose in life to distract me and encourage procrastination. Procrastination, much like an angry mob, is also like a cat… Goddammit.)

Okay, so anyway; back to business. Once the shit hits the fan, I have a very constrained amount of time to do what I should have been working on this whole time. And I do this every semester! Not for everything– well, not more than what’s salvageable by my hurried efforts. Usually there is one big project per semester that gets a golden throne on the back burner until the week it’s due. I mean, it has a plaque on its throne, so you know it’s seriously and totally not even considered at all until the last minute. I mean, I’ll be like, “Wow, I should really work on my project” or sometimes I even write “Work on project” in my planner perhaps the month before it’s due, but deep down, you and I both know the truth, and we both know it’s just not going to happen.

You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but I just don’t. I mean, the thing of it is, I always cram in the project last minute and somehow–oh God, somehow–it gets done on time (really, it’s beyond me how I ever get the work done) and I end up with a decent grade. And you know what the decent grade tells me? That I did good. I did good, kid. And that despite all the stress and the cramming and the rushing last minute, it got done and it got done well enough. And so inevitably, I will do it again, because it works.

To be fair to myself (as I prefer to do), it’s not that I’ve just wildly and randomly procrastinated in order to be fun and self-loathing as well as a hopeless martyr for my procrastinated cause, but rather I put things off because I have other, more immediate things to do. Like write a 3-page essay, or go downtown with my coworkers for dinner and a beer… But be back to my apartment to finish working on it by 11… By which I mean midnight… Which turns into 2 am.

So, I’m staring at this wall right now, and it really has me thinking. It’s so plain. It has me thinking. It has me thinking that I need to do something with it. What would go best there? What would… Maybe a painting? But I don’t have any paintings. But I could make a painting. When’s the last time I painted? High school? High school was wild. I remember when… Dammit, no! Have some self-control! Back to the real business at hand– what sort of paint I should use. Anyway, I’ll need to run to the store because I don’t have a canvas. Actually I think I have a coupon for Michael’s on my table…

A slippery slope indeed. I don’t even ski and I know a slippery slope when I see one. Sometimes I’m just intuitive like that. Maybe one day I’ll ski…

And that’s basically how I ended up, the day this whole project is due, working on it feverishly. Even still, I’m thinking, “I’ve got plenty of time! I have until midnight! I could go grocery shopping this morning!” I have a sickness. (A separate, discrete sickness from my book-hoarding sickness; it’s like when you have cancer and pneumonia. They sort of build off each other. Ugh, I still need to pay my library fines… That sounds infinitely more riveting than working on this project.) I’m not proud of my procrastination problem, but I also can’t help bragging about how much I hate myself for doing this to myself.

So now that we’ve all established that I’m a helpless menace, I think I should get on with my project. You all don’t want me to fail out of college, do you? I mean, it’d make a great blog post (Can you imagine me ranting about that?), but sometimes you have to have a little self-discipline, and I know all about self-discipline. Self-discipline is sort of like an angry mob, if you look at it a certain way…

I’m a real menace. I hate myself.

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