Getting Behind By Procrastinating

Have you ever gotten behind on schoolwork or something else by procrastinating. I do it all the time. There was a TED talk about procrastination where the guy mentioned the “Instant-Gratification Monkey” and the way it hijacks your brain so you procrastinate until the last second when you realize that you need to get something done ASAP and panic sets in.

I sort of get to that point. But for me, it keeps getting a bit further back in the process.

In high school I wasn’t much of a planner. I barely wrote all of my homework assignments down and when I did they were never in one place. I would never even plan ahead for how much time I could devote to each project and mainly waited until a few days before it was due (or more often, the day before) to even start on the project. Taking a lot of AP and IB classes started to train me to get more organized, in an organic sort of process.

I hate stress, and I found that planning ahead helped me get rid of some of the stress I was feeling. So how did I procrastinate? I started over-planning how and when and what homework I was going to do on any given day, weeks or even months in advance, depending  on how much information I had for the coming weeks.

Would I ever stick to them? Sometimes, but more often than not, no. Not at all. And yet it’s still a habit I find myself in. Fluctuating between not planning at all and over planning only to mess up the plan and have to start again.

And I have recently gone through this process again, only this time, it took me a matter of days to cycle through the whole thing.

Working left me less time than usual to do the things I wanted to do, so I procrastinated on school work. Then, when I realized I was more behind than I’d like to be, I made a detailed plan to catch up. I’m talking what days I would work on which assignments and how much of that assignment I would do. And I didn’t stick to it.

So now, instead of having to do 7 topics a day in math, I have to do 11. And that is leaving me with only 3 or 4 days (depending on my work schedule) to take a comprehensive final exam. And there are 256 topics covered in the course, so I’m not sure how many will be on the exam. I’m hoping for less than half, but I doubt that.  The course leaves you a week to complete the final, so I doubt it’s short and sweet.

Not to mention doing English homework on top of all of the math I have to catch up on. Thank god I am not behind on English like I am on math. But I still have a decent amount of work to finish each week in my “free” time, when I am not working.

If I could, I would much rather be spending that time getting lost on the internet. But getting a degree is important to me and it is something I will work towards. But I have decided to go half time in school (one class per 8 week term, or 6 classes and 18 credits a year, instead of the 2 classes per 8 week term or 12 classes and 32 credits a year) so I don’t get behind and have enough free time to recharge.

I honestly don’t know how people work and go to school at the same time, Full time in either one or the other is a lot of work. But full time in both? I was never able to do that, and let me just say that I respect everyone who does. My hat goes off to you guys.



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