Procrastination by Will Kay

Posted on June 14, 2011


I am a master-in-the-extreme of procrastination. It astounds even me how good at procrastination I am, and I love it too. So much so that when I hear Oprah or some other “new religion” self-help yoda saying “Find a way to make what you love and are good at your job”, I always think Well, that is impossible for me because that would make avoiding work my work. See the irony? Another irony is that I procrastinated writing this review of procrastination. Ah irony… you conceited saucy vixen.

Anyway, I seem to be procrastinating getting to some actual reviewing of this phenomenon done. Oh… there I go again. I am going to stop. Oh look, go me, not procrastinating.

The word’s etymological unravellings reveal that it could roughly translate into “to postpone for tomorrow”. This draws a tether between this word and the idiomatic mumblings of the Spaniards, “Manaña, manaña”, and the more formal, “Vuelve usted manaña”. Which brings me to the idea that this is a pretty universal affliction, or in my case pleasure. I could think of only one or two people I know who I imagine don’t procrastinate. If you believe Wikipedia a very vague “80%-95%” of students admit to procrastination.

Why do so many of us do it? Is it the temptation of more exciting activities? Adrenalin cravings for the thrill of an all-nighter? Lack of will-power or motivation? Or is it just plain old self-sabotage? Well, for me it’s all of the above.

I suppose the type of procrastination activity you engage in would bear forth some answers. Take the obvious and most cited procrastination activity (at least in my experience, can you trust me? Or do I need to back it up with another reference from Wikipedia?): cleaning. This is also one of the trickier examples. This reason being that it is generally not considered an enjoyable act and it is often backed by the statement, “I just can’t work in mess.” Which may be true. However, in the case of a situation where you are procrastinating, cleaning is the activity that should be postponed. The impression that something is constructive helps the rationalisation of the procrastination. There we have the crux of this story: rationalisation.


The trick of rationalisation is that one who is creative enough can rationalise close to everything. The rationalisation has a comforting assurance to it, a solidity of thought and a perceived pre-action impenetrability. Sometimes it is like the lies of a deep dark of a room with curtains drawn. The lying darkness impedes the view of the truth at the tip of your nose. Procrastinating, in both its conscious and semi-conscious forms, extols both the beauty and the trap of ignoring reality. The beauty of escape and the trap of the concrete and obligations.

Personally, I ignore reality (if you know me, you already knew that). The battle between reality and possibility is age-old. Choosing both is the sensible option. Choosing reality is the very sensible option. Choosing procrastination is silly.

My 5 favourite procrastination methods:
1. Making elaborate dinners, lunches, breakfasts. Degustation breakfast…I’ve gotta eat!

2. Reading You’re Dripping Egg. I’ve gotta work, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t know what else is going on the world.

3. Finishing that first season of Rake. After all, I was silly enough to watch the first episode before starting study. I need a break and if I am having a break, I’ll do it properly. At least I will have made a good go out of something that day.

4. Making study plans/ list. If I am going to get nothing done, the least I could do is a have a very tight schedule of getting nothing done so as to avoid distractions.

5. Anything and everything on the Internet. I do media studies, therefore watching Youtube videos = “research”.

Are you a procrastinator? Are you procrastinating now? Leave a comment, tell us how you like to procrastinate.

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