Snipes With Artillery
22nd March 2005
So, here I sit, contemplating writing up my senior thesis that's due tomorrow, and for the past few days I've been really into playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. As interesting as killing Ukrainian zombies and avoiding blowouts (Oblivion Lost is a fantastic mod) might be, it's certainly doing nothing to help my paper along.
How bad of a procrastinator are you? How do you make up for it? For those who don't procrastinate, how/why do you do it?
I think we all do it to a degree.
When I was at college I did it a lot. I just couldn't get down to work at all. I ated it, always did my essays and asignments a day before they needed to be handed in. I slowly got and am still getting better. I generally made up for it by spending hours on one piece of work and writing a quality essay.
The way I get over it is to just think that if you don't do it now properly you're going to hate yourself in the future.
I didn't make it!
I don't procrastinate. I masticate. :naughty: =p
How do I do it? I don't know. I never thought about it. I just do it.
Why do I do it? I don't know that either. I just do. I do what I have to do in full, as told / instructed, on time and usually ahead of schedule, using less time than allocated, if there is a time limit. And, according to certain someone (I won't say who), I'm still not fast enough. I once got 4 months to complete a given task. I completed it in 1 month and got scolded (plenty of yelling and various colorful insults included) for not completing it fast enough by the person who assigned it to me.
Procrastination is my greatest talent. It took me three years before I handed in a Bachelor's thesis before the deadline, and I'm currently taking a course for the fourth year because I every year procrastinate away the last few dreadful excercises in it. The course is not looking good this year either, despite the fact that it is the only course between me and my Bachelor's degree, and thus keeps me banned from writing my Master's thesis...
I'll keep an eye on this thread...
Getting A's on essays written in around an hour before class is a usual for me this past semester. That's extreme procrastination for you. I have plans to do things on time next semester considering I hated the feeling I got from it. I did assignments mainly on time though so I'm not a complete procrastinator though lol.
Top ten reasons why I procrastinate:
I guess it applies to some degree to all people. Here are some things which helped me through university:
-habits: procrastination can be a habit. So can doing your course-work in time. Force yourself to work according to some schedule for 2 weeks or so and it will become habitual, i.e. it will cost you much less motivation to keep following the schedule. You might know this effect from the strange feeling you get just after you wrote an exam which you learned for 14 hours a day for the last 14 days: you suddenly feel weird because the workload started to become habitual.
-start early in the day. In my experience, if you get up early you are more likely to get stuff done. Your mileage may vary though; I had a weird phase where I got up relatively late and only started learning in the afternoon but then worked very effectively until deep in the night. I guess you just have to experiment which time of the day works best for you.
-avoid distractions: work in a dull environment where you can't distract yourself with TVs, PCs, radios etc.
Then combine everything. Get up early, go to some cafe where you can work with little disturbance (careful with selecting a workplace which is completly quiet as that often does not represent the atmosphere during exams) and keep this up for a while.
Sometimes it can't be helped though and you have to pull an all-nighter. In that case buy lots of food with sugar and caffeine, turn on some good music and give it your best shot.
I procrastinate quite a bit simply because I've pretty much never had any reason not to. I can wait until the very last second to get things done (and done well) without much problem.
I also procrastinate quite a bit though I try to avoid it by a number of different ways. I'm currently in the process of researching and writing a term paper due Wednesday and I'm doing my best to avoid all distractions and get my work done on time.
- Hide or get out of your way anything that may potentially distract you from your work. I've hidden my PS3 so I don't feel the urge to play it when I take a break from work and risk playing for several hours.
- I go to the library to do my research and some of my writing. The problem with this is that it takes 30-40 minutes to get to the library by bus from my place and sometimes the library gets pretty loud because some students are inconsiderate assholes who think the library is a party place where they can listen to music and have loud conversations.
- Set personal deadlines for when you want specific parts of your assignment done.
- I do all my research before I do any writing, and in doing so I know more about my subject and it makes writing about it easier and a lot more coherent compared to that last-minute rushed writing that hardly makes sense.
- Have a detailed outline of what you plan to do with your assignment. For my current assignment I made an outline of all my major and minor arguments, spaces to write-in what references and quotations I will make in order. This helps to get a better idea of how long my essay will be in advance and how to organize a more coherent argument in my paper. I've also organized my bibliography and prepared sample footnotes to copy & paste into place when I go through my final edit.
- I do my best work at night. I can never get much done during the day aside from some reading, so when assignment-season comes around in the school year I start staying up late and conditioning myself for late-night work (and the occasional all-nighter) so I don't have to rely on massive amounts of caffeine and nicotine to get through the night.
I procrastinate in extreme ways.
E.g: When most students wrote their final year thesis in 3 months, I did it in one week (with running around, taking my time, etc...). Heck, I even got good scores on that one (had a very interesting thesis with the best lay-out, that's whay my teacher said).
For me, procrastination has only been a problem with very important stuff or very big stuff. Sometimes, I tend to sit 12 hours behind a screen (with breaks, of course, I'm not crazy) to finish a paper I have to do for tomorrow. Most of the time, I keep myself busy with music and reading things. Everything, except what's needed for the paper.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll continue with my evaluation which has to be done for tomorrow. I thought taking a break would be good, but one that lasts for 3 hours is a bit too much, I think.