By Abby Gemechu

If you’ve ever had to complete any sort of task before a deadline, chances are you’ve dabbled in the art of procrastination. Everyone is guilty of putting something off at one time or another. Though I’ve had quite a few experiences of procrastination in my daily life, I’ve found that especially following the pandemic, I put off certain things much longer than I usually would or should. My theory as to why is because I have more time on my hands, and so I am able to convince myself that I will do whatever must be done “later”. Exactly when this “later” is, I’m not sure. However, as the deadlines edge nearer and nearer, suddenly, I’m able to complete whatever I had to do originally. At the end, I’m left thinking ‘Why didn’t I do that earlier? I could’ve completed it yesterday!’ 

Why is it so easy for me to miraculously become the fastest writer in the world the hour before the essay is due? Why do the words suddenly seem to flow from my pencil just as soon as the deadline approaches? If the potential to do all this was existent in the first place, how come I just couldn’t finish the assignment prior to the due date? As of right now, I don’t have the answers to these questions. For all I know, I never will.

Maybe, however, these aren’t the questions I should be asking. Perhaps the real inquiry is: Why do we procrastinate in the first place? Isn’t it better to eradicate the problem at its root? I find this an easier question to answer. Generally, when people delay action on something, it is for one of a few reasons. The first possibility is that one is avoiding a task because they don’t want to do it for some reason. Maybe you convince yourself there are more important things you should be doing, things more worthy of your time, whether it is true or not. Another instance in which someone may procrastinate is if they are afraid of failure. Oftentimes, if one believes they are incapable of or won’t do well on a certain task, they may put it off and mask their avoidance with an excuse. 

Though procrastination at times can seem as something to be taken lightly, or even somewhat humorous, in many cases it can be detrimental to a person and their character. If it becomes a habit, at one point or another, it will become an ever-looming problem in one’s life. Despite the fact that most procrastination ends once the assignment is done (and turned in right before the deadline!), it is important to consider the things in life that don’t have a due date as incentive, like bettering one’s lifestyle or ceasing to live in ways harmful to you. How will procrastinators get things done then? It is here that the real problem with procrastination is found. 

Perhaps it’s just human nature to play a waiting game, to crouch in the bushes, biding time, then, at the last minute, spring. As I mentioned previously, we’re all procrastinators with something, no matter what it may be. And though sometimes it is okay, we have to start living in the moment, and stop waiting for life to happen to us- now is as good a time as any.

Well, maybe not right now…..