Procrastination. The onset is always a surprise: “You had a hard day!” it says. “You’ll feel better in the morning, watch some TV, take a load off, don’t think about it” and with this much, with a few words smooth as oil, it lulls you into a trance. But there are only so many times you can watch Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis or The Hobbit trailer (It’s cool, don’t listen to them, The Hobbit is very cool) before the dream life gives way to reality: with all of it’s targets and deadlines and expectations.
You pass serenely into contented slumber, surrounded, albeit, by a low hedge of manageable expectations. But, and it’s a big one- while you were sleeping, the hedge grew. What’s this? You have woken to find that walls of expectation, soaring high into the stratosphere, have hedged you in.
You are stuck, and now, you are in the procrast-a-hole: and it sucks here. Your appetite will be the first thing to go, but rest assured, your calorie consumption will increase. You might not be able to write that essay, but DAMN! CAN YOU EAT! Pizza and chocolate and the various miscellaneous food stuffs you find around the house. You will eat thrice as much although you are doing nothing with it.
Then, the game of distraction shall commence. You will discover a myriad of enjoyable viewing options through a little something that we, here in the hole, call a you tube tunnel (Yes, there’s a tunnel in the hole, just go with it, move on.) Then you will sleep, uncomfortably, then, BREAKFAST. Then the train ride, for some more time spent in fruitless and troubling contemplation about what might be done when the fearsome task is actually undertaken. Then, sandwich time. Sure, you’re still digesting breakfast, but “mealtimes” are irrelevant here in the hole.
You respond to paralysis, that seizing up feeling, that inability to start the thing, with procrastination, then, as the pressure mounts, you become more paralysed, then, in turn, you procrastinate, in a never ending sequence of mediocrity. Strength to strength? ‘fraid not.
The Seventh Day: God slips into a twenty-four hour depression nap after forgetting to create unicorns. He’s never quite as productive as he was before the self-described debacle. Biblical historians refer to horses as “God’s Pinkerton.”
1180 BC: Odysseus’s attempts to return home from the Trojan War are stalled by repeated pop-up quests and dangers, making his odyssey (as described by Homer) the original “epic fail.”
421 BC: Socrates gets really high and begins responding to fellow philosophers’ questions with an endless string of questions of his own. His students Plato and Xenophon refer to this as “Pulling a Socrates.” Historians kindly rename his habit “The Socratic Method.”
214 BC: Hannibal halts his trek over the Pyrenees Mountains during the Second Punic War to humorously caption sketches of his war elephants. The results were compiled in a long-lost folio rumored to be titled “LOL-ephants.”
(Those ones aren’t mine. Read more at http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/great-moments-in-procrastination-history/#HKro08J83fR57R0K.99)
The Old Testament is all over the procrastination problem,
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep then BAM!
…Thy poverty shall come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man
(Proverbs 24:33 and 34)
Well, that was unhelpful.
In any case, “putting it off” is perhaps the worst response to fear. When the pressure is on, self inflicted as that pressure might be, procrastination ferments the waters, and one becomes the awful little tadpole, swimming frantically, and to no avail, in their own shallow ground puddle of shame and mediocrity.
Perhaps your expectations are too high: do you need to content yourself with shoddy output? I’ve found, that when the pressure is slackened, a clear head returns, and you might actually be able to get something done.
Lower your expectations, or suck it up and deliver, but whatever you do, don’t go back to sleep.
Also, I HAVE TO GO AND WRITE MY ESSAY RIGHT NOW.