Pop Culture
Jul 07, 2008, 01:00PM

Don't Put Off Reading This Article Any Longer

20% of the population are procrasitinators, and this college student put off writing a paper so that he could research this common affliction.

Homework.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Photo by [Chaparral] Kendra

It is 3:00 in the morning. I have three empty coffee mugs in front of me and am nursing a fourth. I've got nearly 10 tabs open on my Internet browser, but only six have to do with this article. The other four are Wikipedia, the Scrubs IMDb page, Facebook and lyrics.com. But I know that this article will be an improvisational work of art born from the stress of meeting a deadline and my desire for perfectionism.

I am a procrastinator.

I know for a fact that procrastinators aren't lazy. I almost never find myself doing nothing to offset some looming college project. But I will do tons of other, slightly less important things.

In his article "Structured Procrastination," Perry asserts that the key to structured procrastination is making lists. To keep yourself motivated, you should make lists with the things you don't want to do at the top. Then, as you complete tasks, check them off. Completing tasks - and reminding yourself that you've completed them - will keep your motivation up, so that you when you get around to tackling your list-topper, you won't feel depressed about wasting time.

And don't limit yourself. Let your to-do lists run long and wild. "[Procrastinators] try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done," writes Perry on his Web site. "But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on this list will be by definition the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing."


Register or Login to leave a comment