How Well Do You Procrastinate?

We all procrastinate, or delay doing important things, at some point in our lives. But when this becomes a habitual action, it reflects poorly on the individual, showing laziness, failure to prioritize, and poor time management skills. Therefore, some of us try to avoid putting off critical tasks as much as possible, and plan ahead so that we can get everything done on time. For some people (especially students), though, procrastination is a common habit. Some are busy with jobs, extracurricular, and other activities, whereas others procrastinate in order to do something more enjoyable first.

No matter which category they fall into, every day I hear friends and peers talk about how they stayed up until 4 AM to write that history project, or how they did the English essay in 30 minutes during lunch, or how they finished their math homework last period. There is no tone of regret – they sound proud to announce that they can to complete their work early in the morning, or under a tight time limit, or during another class. People still finish their work on time, and there’s no harm done, right? However, people no longer procrastinate purely out of busyness or laziness– it has become a trend, a cool thing to do and to brag about. And as with many trends, underneath it lays a competitive spirit of who does it better: who can stay up the latest and who finishes work in the shortest amount of time. For example, maybe you’re the type who tries to do work first when you get home. But then your friend, who has the same workload, tells you that yesterday he watched 7 episodes of Breaking Bad and slept around midnight.

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You’re impressed, and think, if he could do it, so can I. So when you get home, you watch a couple hours of Netflix before doing work. The next day you feel like you’ve one-upped your friend when you casually mention that you finished homework at 1 AM. Procrastination is almost infectious.

Some are beginning to see those who finish their work too early – thus going against the trend – as uncool and trying too hard. These poor behaviors and mindsets will continue to spread if people keep getting caught up in this race.