The following are the journal entries of a procrastinator who is supposed to write an article for their college magazine.
>>20th September 2019
Okay, so I’ve got two weeks to write this article which is way more time needed than to write a single article. I am going to be proactive this time and will work on it as soon as possible. I might even start tonight. But wait. This is writing. Which means I need inspiration first. College has been stressful and I am super low on inspiration. Maybe I’ll take a small nap to de-stress first and then I can wake up, look for some inspiration and maybe even finish writing it.
Wakes up the next day in time for college
>>23rd September 2019
I have wasted enough time. I ain’t getting any studying done tonight, might as well get started with my article. Hmmm…so I have a vague idea about what I want to write…but how do I write it? Maybe if I look for some inspiration on the internet.
After 2 calls and a lot of texting
You know what? I think I will just study for the test tomorrow. Article deadline is not tomorrow. I should learn to prioritize better.
Finds a new movie on Netflix gets no studying done
The article is left sad and forgotten
>>25th September 2019
Ah, the test was terrible. Managed to attempt all the questions but I bet I could have done better if I just studied a bit more. For all the exams to come from now on I will study beforehand. Make notes in class. Make notes at home. Revise. Going to study beyond the scope of the textbook. Yes. There is no stopping me anymore.
I am a changed person now. I will start studying at this very moment. Not after an hour, not tomorrow. No. We live in the now and now we must work.
Studied 2 topics(first 4 pages of a chapter) when finally a doubt surfaces
Yes good, this is good. Questions. Questions are meant to be answered. Having a question means I am making progress. I am understanding and analysing the material. Good Good. But wait. How do I solve this? What’s the answer?
a very long phone conversation later
I’ll just look it up on the internet. Why did I not think of this before? Fastest way of getting answers. Perfect.
gets distracted by an article about how the moon landing was fake and starts a course on learning the Russian script
>>29th September 2019
Huh. My article. I didn’t start working on it yet. That’s it I’m going to sit down and write an outline and all the points I want to include in it. I’m going to buy a new pen and a new book. All fresh and new. Sit at the table and write. Nothing is going to stop me from finishing this article tonight.
Now the only minor issue is…where was my wallet…
>>30th September 2019
Today is just one of those days…where you don’t want to do anything. I’m even surprised I’ve been consistently writing these entries. If I was into fitness this day is what I would call a cheat day. Today is my lazy day. And lazy it will be. The article will barely take two hours to write. I’ll just wrap up tomorrow.
>>1st October 2019
Article time. NO BREAKS till I’m done. First things first. Inspiration. Motivation. Ideas. Maybe Pinterest will help. Or Tumblr. Yes, those will do. I will look for mood boards and aesthetically pleasing pictures and that will fire me up to write and BOOM! done with my article. Ohhh it will be a good one this time!!! I can’t wait.
after 5 hours of scrolling through a never-ending supply of memes on 4 different sites simultaneously
after second-guessing my idea and changing my topic 4 times
inspired to work on 9 new story ideas of which none have anything to do with my actual article
Phew…this was a lot of work. I’m exhausted. I’m going to call it a day.
>>2nd October 2019
Today is my friends’ birthday! And birthday would come only once a year. I can write my article tomorrow. Need to decide on an outfit and also need to find a gift for them and also wait. Wasn’t that blockbuster movie going to air on TV for the first time today?? I need the remote. ASAP.
>>4th October 2019
Okay, so my notebook is ready, pen in my hand. I will write today.
writes a single over dramatic line on the paper
Now what? What comes before this? What comes after this? Is this it? Where are the words?
walks around the house
Maybe a walk in the park? Oh no. No no. Absolutely not. I know I will get distracted and besides the mosquitoes do not need a feast tonight. I will just listen to a few of those ambient music soundscape videos on youtube. Yes. Maybe one about an ancient forest followed by one from an Elven castle and maybe another about a feast on a Viking ship. Yes. That will work. Let’s make the playlist first.
Spends half an hour carefully selecting good tracks and then arranging them in a suitable order
Now that the playlist is made, I can write in peace. The mood is now perfect. There is no way the words won’t come out now.
Writes a few more lines and suddenly gets lost in a daydream
35 minutes later
Hey! hey! hey! that was an amazing story I should write that down.
Starts writing the outline of a completely new story
No no, I will work on this new story once I’m done with my article. Yes, that is the right thing to do. And I should stop this music. It is taking me somewhere else entirely…Now, where was that YouTube tab…
17 videos into making handmade soap and I can now start my own artisan soap business and I also know how to make pull-apart chicken taco dip rolls along with a 100 different recipes I would never use because my vegetarian self would never need it.
Enough distraction. Article time.
Wait. Don’t I need to wake up at 5 tomorrow morning? Oh no no no no no! That means if I sleep now, I would get at least roughly 3 hours of sleep. Oh well. Some sleep better than none….or is it? Maybe after one last nail art tutorial.
>>5th October 2019
I am not done. I am not done. I am not done. I am not done. Why am I like this? Why do I always do this? I knew this would happen and I still did nothing to prevent it. When will I change? And now I am panicking which mean I can’t think straight. And if I can’t think straight how will I write and the submission is tonight.
First thing, I need to calm down. How do I calm down? Best way to calm down? A NAP! Perfect. I still have 9 hours. I will nap for an hour and a half, then wake up to write my article in 2 hours and I would still make it in time for the deadline. I will set 3 alarms and even ask my friend to call me to wake me up. Nothing can go wrong.
Sister needs help with homework
Mom suddenly needs me to go to the grocery store
A relative I haven’t spoken to in 10 years decided to drop by
No power in the house because of the thunderstorm outside
And it all has to happen on the exact same day.
The same day the alarm does not ring. I did set the right time but I forgot to set the A.M or P.M option. Life is playing some cruel game with me right now and I am the only one to blame.
Time: 1 hour away from the deadline
Enough is enough I am going to write this article and finally once and for all get done with it.
3 hours later and 2 hours past the deadline
The article is finally complete proof-read and uploaded.
It is the fact that many procrastinators still get their work done even after procrastinating till the very last moment makes them procrastinate even more. The end result might not be what they envisioned in the beginning stages of a project, but as you come to the end it stops mattering. It boils down to: it is something and it is complete. They have an answer. It might not be the Starry Night or the Mona Lisa they had in mind but at this point, they are more than glad they could finish it.
The Journey of an Incomplete Article
Marcus Aurelius once said, “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” What does it mean to have power over our mind? Does it mean not giving in to cravings? Does it mean not blaming external sources for our discontent? Or does it mean