Procrastination is such a great teacher for the real world. It’s sad it’s not taught in schools.
First, what is procrastination?
The dictionary definition for procrastination is “the action of delaying or postponing something.”
We have all procrastinated on something. At least, I hope so.
For many people, procrastinating causes so much stress and anxiety, but they can’t stop. You may ask, how is this practice teaching anybody anything?
Well, when you procrastinate right, it is a very valuable tool. However, nobody does it right when learning.
Before I talk about the right way to procrastinate, I will tell you why it is important.
Procrastination is so important because when you get into the real world, you’re going to be assigned a sudden presentation due in a few hours, or maybe it will be new code for a website that needs to be done by tomorrow. I don’t know exactly what the situation will be in each of your fields, but at some point it will happen. There will be a sudden project that gets dumped in your lap. Or you come back from sick days and have to catch up within a week. That is unexpected high-stress work, and a very limited timeframe to boot. Procrastination in daily life teaches you how to work quickly and efficiently on a project you’ve never looked at before. It is a useful skill to fall back on in those unexpected moments that you have no choice but to get through.
Now that we know why it’s important, the big question is “how do you do procrastination correctly in order to effectively learn the skill?”
In college, we have the Writing Center, which is primarily used to help you with your writing process. However, it is a helpful academic tool in other ways as well. Scheduling an appointment with the Writing Center helps create an artificial deadline for your work.
You should try to schedule a Writing Center appointment a week or so before the actual due date for maximum effectiveness. Now, your due date is no longer the one that your professor has given you. It’s the one you’ve made for yourself at the Writing Center. You can’t go to the appointment if you don’t have anything written. While canceling is an option, so is not doing the project. It’s the same as quitting your job when you don’t get a presentation done in time. It’s certainly an option, but it’s not the most mature one or the most beneficial one. But it is an option, and you still have a week or so to do the project if it’s absolutely necessary.
Procrastination is a beneficial tool if you let yourself learn how to use it. Let’s be honest, you’re going to procrastinate anyway, so you might as well gain something from the experience.