Friday, September 29, 2006
The latest 12-step program: Procrastinators Anonymous
Hello, my name is Frank, and I'm a procrastinator.
Yes, I have a problem -- it won't go away -- but in all honesty, I have never tried to remedy the situation. In fact, I like putting things off. I'm a master of the art.
Procrastinators are a strange bunch. There is something very wrong with anyone who will go to any length to avoid performing a task that's not a really big deal anyway.
If there is a logic to it, then it must be this: Any task or duty, given a deadline, must be avoided at all costs until every ounce of pleasure is squeezed out of life to the point where you realize that if you don't get started on the project right now, you will be a complete and utter failure.
The other side of the coin is that I relish the thrill of deadline pressure. I love seeing the countdown on the clock -- never quite sure if I'll make it until the last minute. It's like an action movie as the bomb counts down 5-4-3-2 .... You know the hero will disarm the device and save the world, but it still takes your breath away.
Take term papers for example. There is always a certain degree of satisfaction in knowing that by virtue of sacrificing one night of sleep, you were able to accomplish what took others two weeks' work. In the end, it makes every fun thing you did when you should have been working on the task all the sweeter.
When there is a grade attached to the project and it comes back to you as an "A" or "B," the joy is unparalleled. And then I become intolerable. The words, "You suck," have been spoken to me numerous times by my hard-working and studious friends when they learn that we made the same grade.
Procrastination can manifest itself in plenty of ways and now, for the uninitiated, I'll provide my favorite methods of killing time.
1) Clean the house. There is nothing more conducive to getting down to business than a tidy domicile.
2) Play with the pets. Sure, they're around you a lot, but how long has it been since you spent some quality time with your critters?
3) Letterman -- even on an off night, watching Dave kills an hour.
4) Napping -- you can't work with a sleep deficit.
5) If all else fails -- PARTY!
And now, some new favorites:
1) Brush up on a foreign language -- or at least practice your Pig Latin.
2) Practice your marksmanship -- after all, this is Texas.
3) Alphabetize your music collection. The world needs order and it starts with you.
4) A midnight excursion to the beach? Why not?
5) Start writing the great American novel. If you hurry, you can have it done before you turn 30.
McGowan is a senior journalism major.