With exams slowly creeping up and the library gradually filling up, I noticed that I was already avoiding studying – something not very unusual. The art of putting something off until the very last minute is a skill of mine, and it does take finesse.
Just like creating a modern masterpiece, procrastination takes dedication – the skill of pondering how to justify the time you’ve done absolutely nothing for, or at least nothing useful.
It’s not lost on me doing this article is actually one of my newly discovered tasks that needed to be done before an essay. It’s also not lost on me that actually I procrastinated on my procrastination. Well done me.
I folded, cleaned, baked (well, burned a cake), and watched around 30 YouTube videos (what started as a lecture given by Stephen Hawking ended up as ‘Rayna meets a robot’) – none of which I thought I needed to be doing this morning.
Putting things off can sometimes be ‘harder’ than you think – what with the rising stress, the constant tick of the clock and the endless things that you have to do before you can even think of putting pen to paper or hand to keyboard.
According to the American Psychological Association, I am not alone. They claim that around 80-95% of university students procrastinate – some claiming that they work better under pressure (which I do) – and the main reason that people procrastinate is the fear of failure (which seems about right).
In our defence, my lovely 95%, procrastination has been going on since around 800BC, with the Greek poet Hesiod writing to not “put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.” We are just following tradition, being cultural even.
However, I wouldn’t mind a day where I kept within the lines for the first sketch I’d set for myself without deciding to create a whole new design. No illusion of peace, but then again, there is a recipe I’ve been meaning to try.