Meh…I’ll Tell You Later

By Amber Ulrich

Photo Credit: Amber Ulrich
Photo Credit: Amber Ulrich

“That paper isn’t due for a whole month, no sweat. Two weeks? I’ve got this! Wait . . . I have a five page paper due tomorrow? Oh crap!”  That’s right, procrastination: the thief of all time. You know you’ve done it, don’t deny.  Dawdle, defer, postpone, prolong, loiter: whatever you call it, we all do it.  You are not alone in “World War P,” and I’m here to help.  Here are some tips on how to win back your life from the clutches of…well, this habit of yours.       The most important and under-recognized enemy in the campaign against dilly-dallying is your computer, more importantly your Wi-Fi connection. I cannot stress this enough: THE INTERNET IS NOT YOUR FRIEND! Yes, this includes smartphones, but I’ll get to that later.  The Internet throws such landmines at us: Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, YouTube and the Goliath that is Google.  Friends are another obstacle: texting and interrupting and giving you something else to focus on.  However, you are strong enough to defeat the Leviathan. Use the off button. It’s there for a reason. There are multiple ways to limit your online activity when you need to focus. Apps like My Minutes, Concentrate, Self Control, Freedom, and Rescuetime allow you to limit or schedule the time you spend online. Next, we must combat the siren song of “I’ll do it later, but first…” I cannot count the number of times that I have completely overhauled my room and closet, done laundry and dishes, and finished a book weeks before the deadline, just to avoid writing an essay. You have to recognize that, for most people, this is a horrible plan. Some people actually work better like this, but most just end up stressing out and turning in a half-baked assignment. In an extreme example, twelve years ago, my aunt cleaned out her grandfather’s garage. She found a mummified cat and a dead guy. Relax, the guy was cremated in 1931; apparently Gramps picked old Clyde up at a garage sale. The other week they cleaned out another garage and there was Clyde. He is now sitting in a third garage while I try to track down his family. Now that is procrastinating. It is up to each person to recognize and correct their own delay tactics. You can win, it just takes effort. And I’m not (metaphorically) talking just to talk; I’ve done this and I still do it.  This happens to me all the time and I still fall into it even though I know it will only come back to bite me. For example, there was this one time—meh, I’ll tell you later.

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