My JROTC instructor used to tell us, “Procrastination is the assassination of motivation.” I have pondered this saying several times throughout my college career. Throughout the first semester of my freshman year in college, this statement stayed in my head as I continuously worked on not falling behind. I worked out a schedule for completing my assignments, which usually entailed working from 4 to10 p.m. every night, Sunday through Thursday. In theory, this would have allowed for me to have the weekends off and enjoy campus. I would be able to hang out with my friends all day on Saturday and Sunday and enjoy ourselves after a week of hard work. Within a few days, however, I realized that this was not the case. Many of my friends put off doing their homework so much that by Friday, Saturday and especially by Sunday, they were stuck in their rooms throughout the day, and sometimes even at night, trying to get their assignments done. The main cause of this situation was procrastination.
A lot of students at Southwestern, and everywhere in the world, enjoy putting off their tasks. They will spend their hours of supposed freedom playing video games or watching television. Many of them reason procrastination by saying that when they are left with only a few hours to do their assignments, they work better because they are under pressure. Unfortunately, this does not turn out to be the case most of the time, and these same students find themselves having trouble passing their courses or doing as well as they wish they could do.
But, why am I referring to these students in third person, when I myself am currently doing the same thing. Earlier today, I procrastinated on writing this article by talking through Skype with my fiancé for a couple of hours, and I am currently procrastinating on continuing my Capstone paper by writing this article. You see, procrastination comes in different forms. Sometimes we like to procrastinate by doing things they enjoy, such as going to weeknight parties or playing video games, while at other times we procrastinate by doing other things that seem to be productive and make us think that we are not really procrastinating.
Whatever the form it comes in, procrastination has the same cause: the desire to not face something that we feel we cannot take on. It has to do with our desire to wish our assignment would disappear. Whether it is because we think of it as boring or as bigger than ourselves, the point is that as much as we try to fool ourselves into thinking that we are only putting it off because we can address it easily and within a matter of moments, the reality is that it is worrying us and that it is stressing us out. And the more we procrastinate, the more we feel that our task is bigger than ourselves, and the more we feel incapable of doing a good job on it, especially with less time to work on it, which explains why procrastination is the assassination of motivation.
So next time you feel the urge to procrastinate, remember that the more you procrastinate on your assignment, the more difficult it will become to get it done in the future. It is always a much better idea to get your assignment done as soon as you can, to have it out of sight, out of mind and with the knowledge that you were capable of taking it on. But hey, I am no one to be lecturing on procrastination. I still have another article to write, and I am really thinking about having dinner instead of writing it – maybe later.