Procrastination

It's just like Donald Trump

Choosing between study and procrastination is like choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This is not an ideal situation…

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Trump is bold and exciting but it doesn’t take long to realise he’s about as useful as Stephen Hawking in the 400m relay.

Clinton on the other hand has the personality of a dead goldfish and the charisma of a vending machine. But deep down you know she will actually get something done…

The problem is Trump is very distracting. Just when you’re about to do something useful, he’ll come jumping out of the bushes, screaming the most offensive thing he can think of, wearing a G-String made of pure gold.

This is funny for a little while, but it soon becomes clear that Trump is beginning to ruin your life…

Sound familiar? It should.

We all procrastinate from time to time. I even procrastinated writing this blog on procrastination.

I was going to do it early, but at some point I moved from the desk to the lounge.

Before I knew it I was scoffing a party-bag of Doritos, stalking a girl I met in the vegetable isle at New World while watching Shrek for the umpteenth time. #dontjudge

(Note: I mean stalking on Facebook as opposed to watching her behind a trolley in the New World car park)

I even made a meme about procrastination as a way of procrastinating!! (see below)

Shrek

When you get home from a long day of Shreking…

Now it’s 3:42 am and I’m smashing my head on my keyboard, wondering how I could do this to myself (again). Well the answer is really pretty simple. We don’t procrastinate because we don’t know how to do something (when that happens, we either get our act together or run screaming for the hills).

Procrastination actually occurs when we know what we need to do, but can’t be bothered doing it (see graph below).

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The scientists making this graph didn’t do anything until the last minute. It got so desperate that they ran out of time do to any actual research and simply wrote down how they were feeling the night before the graph was due and hoped no-one would notice. #truestory

It’s the weird middle ground between the knowing and the doing and it’s not a lot of fun. Instead of cracking on you end up in a black hole of Facebook, YouTube and *insert anything that’s not study here*. The longer you do this, the more stressed, tense and anxious you become.

Think back to the Clinton/Trump scenario. Every second Hillary Clinton is not President is a second where The Donald could be. I mean, America has procrastinated so badly they may well end up making Donald Trump the most powerful person in the world. Talk about failing your end of year exams!

obamastmeme

A single tragic tear for a single tragic situation

The point is that procrastination results from our indecision coupled with our fear of failure. Curling up in a little ball, we become so anxious that what we do will suck that we actually end up not doing anything.

However, once we start studying, all that bottled shame and guilt literally starts flowing out in a relief of endorphins. The feeling is about as magical as when you’re on a 10 hour bus trip from Wellington to Tauranga and you’re busting for the loo so badly you think you’re either going to black-out or send a current of warm urine running down your legs. Then when you make it:

“AHHHHH YESSSSSSSSS THANK GOD!!”

That was slightly too specific but you get the picture. What I’m trying to say is, get a move on with the study before it’s too late. Now would be a great time to start (if not sooner). We know that’s easier than it sounds, but here’s a tip to help get you underway:

  • Grab a piece of paper
  • Set a timer for three to five minutes
  • Take two deep breaths and write down all your anxious thoughts
    • e.g. “I might fail my exams”
    •        “I don’t have the newest iPhone anymore”
    •        “Simon saw my message 4 minutes ago and still hasn’t replied”
  • Once you’ve done that, close the book, take a deep breath and close your eyes.
  • Now think of your intrinsic motivator (to replace all that internal rage with motivation and purpose)
  • Immediately after that, set the timer for ten minutes, throw your phone to the other side of the room and get stuck into some study.
  • When you do this, you’ll often exceed your target time because you’ll become absorbed in the task.

All you have to do is get cracking and the rest will take care of itself!

Now this is the point where I come up with a humorous and motivational ending, that manages to tie everything together whilst taking a witty pot-shot at Donald Trump.

But I’ll do that later.