PRO-crastination?

By Jennah M.

We’ve all been there. Staring at a blank piece of paper, knowing you have to fill it with words before next Monday, but wishing you were elsewhere. “I’ll just get a glass of water, then get to work,” you say to yourself, trying to convince yourself it’s the truth. Soon enough you find yourself with a glass of water, as well a bag of chips, and your laptop in front of you on the Netflix home screen, right on top of your still-blank piece of paper. Oh well, you’ll get to it on Sunday.

This is the philosophy that an estimated seventy percent of students believe in, but the question is: is it effective? “Sometimes, I leave projects until the last minute, and I have to cram to get them done the night before. Leaving it for the night before motivates me to get it done because I don’t have any other options,” says Sara Naqvi, a grade nine student at Westmount Charter School. Professionals, on the other hand, beg to differ. For those who say they work best under pressure, Dr. Tim Pychyl argues that the adrenaline rush is actually the relief that the task is done. The excitement that comes with completing a task gives you a greater rush than the pressure of trying to complete it.

Procrastination definitely has its proven upsides, however. Sometimes, putting things off allows you to think more thoroughly. Saving it for later can allow you to make more informed choices. Furthermore, procrastination may lead to creativity. If you leave a creative writing piece, it could definitely take time to find a lede, but the procrastination will be worth it, seeing as it lead to a more interesting story. There are also instances when work can understandably be put off. If there is a family emergency, for example, the choice of procrastinating is suitable. The work can wait. “If I feel like I have a lot of time, and don’t need to do it right away, I’ll put it off,” Ms. Naqvi says. This is a reasonable argument, but when putting off for a few minutes turns into hours, or days even, it’s getting out of hand.

Leaving it for the last-minute may have a positive side, but there are surely negatives to it as well. Procrastination has been proven to increase stress levels, and may leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If procrastination results in you not finishing your work on time, this could result in lower grades, less sleep, less time for yourself, and loss of respect from teachers. Often times, procrastination simply leads to not completing the task as a whole, which could have very unfortunate consequences.

So, this still leaves its effectiveness in question. Everyone has different views on procrastination, but I say, if saving it for later works for you, there’s no reason to stop. So, enjoy yourself, watch Netflix, and eat your chips, as long as you get the job done.

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