The Charter Opinions
“You shouldn’t procrastinate,” says Roy.
Roy is a little man that lives on my shoulder and tells me things that I know, but don’t want to do. Like an obnoxious shoulder angel, (“You shouldn’t eat another microwave burrito. You know you’ll regret it.)” He talks in an annoying monotone voice. But I ignore him and continue to read my magazine while I listen to The Beatles sing Nowhere Man. I glance at the clock. 9:00 pm. I probably won’t be going to bed for another thirty minutes. I still have time. Nine thirty rolls around in the blink of an eye. I’ll just wake up a little earlier tomorrow. I still have time. Tomorrow comes as fast as a hand to the snooze bar, and soon I’m getting ready to drive to school. I’ll just drive faster and do it at school. I still have time. I get to school. I talk with friends. I run to class. The teacher walks with the swag and dignity of a person who knows that you procrastinated on your homework after they told you not to, and they won’t even have to give you the “I Told You So” look.
“Turn in your packets,” she says. I still have time.
“No, you don’t,” Roy says. Why did I procrastinate? Oh yeah. Because I didn’t want to do my school work. Roy snickers.
Why is it that students procrastinate so often? Like a man who complains about the pain he feels in his legs after jumping from a two story building for the third time in a row, I haven’t been smart enough to learn from the consequences of doing so and say ‘that’s really stupid.’
Maybe it has something to do with the constant availability of things to distract you. Phones, movies, good books, and staring at the floor provide entertainment that is often far more enticing than that of comparing and contrasting the advantages and drawbacks of federal law.
Then there’s the issue of thinking you have more time than you actually do. If you think about that longer than I did (which was something less than a second), you realize it doesn’t make any sense. That concept should be taught in first grade math classes to instill the idea in the brains of young children that two hours isn’t three hours. Something like “Jonny has three apples, but doesn’t get any more. Does this mean he has more than three apples?” A first grader could understand that, but many highschool students (myself included) apparently don’t. There is always time. Not.
The next week comes around, bringing with it new assignments. One math assignment is particularly heavy. I get home, look at the clock, and realize that I have three hours to get it done. So I do the most obvious thing: wait for two hours and fifty nine minutes. I consider going to bed, but having learned my lesson (sort of), I decide to do it there and then, until it’s done, however long it takes.
Before I know it, it’s very late, and I am very tired. And I’ve only done four problems so far. I can hear my sister (who never procrastinates) snoring peacefully in the next room. I stare at my bed. The snoring starts to sound more like scornful laughter. Near the brink of tears, I wonder what can possibly be done to stop this rotten habit. I review my bad-habit-stopping options.
There are these things called planners. They are booklets where you write down what you need to do, and when to do it. Sounds pretty cool, right? There’s a catch: you have to do what the planner says. In all honesty, I haven’t been fair to my planner. I’ll write down when and what I need to do, and then not do what I need to do when I need to do it, if at all. It’s really dumb. Not the planner, me. It’s like I’m a chef reading a bread recipe, and don’t mix the ingredients in order, because hey, I’ll add the flour later. The bread can cook a few hours longer, I’ll just take it out when I feel like it. Then I take out the burnt mangled bread and say “that recipe sure wasn’t helpful!” Of course the recipe was helpful, but its hand of helpfulness couldn’t reach as far as to rescue airheads like me from a sheer disregard for real life consequences.
My planner stares at me as vehemently as a vehement planner can stare.
One of the best weapons for attacking the hideous beast of procrastination is the sword of willpower. Now, from my limited experience with willpower, I must confess: it can be unpleasant. Having it will give you enough time to finish your homework. Not having it will give you time to sleep. And have more free time. Nonetheless, mastering the art of willpower now is certainly a sure way to attain a very auspicious future.
If all else fails, when I feel like procrastinating, I review the pros and cons of doing so:
The cons of procrastinating:
You’ll will not get things done on time.
You won’t get good grades.
It makes your teachers annoyed.
You waste time doing nothing.
You get a bad reputation.
You don’t have as much self-control.
It’s not fun for anyone involved (including yourself).
The pros of procrastinating:
You could say that there is the ever-so-fleeting immediate gratification of just doing your homework when you feel like it, but that always ends up causing more pain than pleasure. Let’s try this again.
The pros of procrastinating:
There aren’t any.