Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today is dangerous, particularity for students. It can mean the difference between success and failure.
Procrastination has a devastating effect on the quality of work students do because it forces them to meet a deadline quickly at the expense of doing the work properly. It’s impossible to do a good job if there isn’t enough time to research and gather information.
Journalism students in particular can attest to this, but they are not the only victims of this seductive and impulsive temptation. Few people anywhere have not paid the price of procrastination.
I feel qualified to speak as an expert on the subject because I’ve procrastinated so often. I hope never to repeat last semester’s lesson on the perils of delaying assignments and wasting precious time.
As far as I’m concerned procrastination is an affliction that bears similarities to a common cold. It can strike anyone and has many of the same characteristics of a disease. There are causes, symptoms, effects and cures and by taking preventative measures you can avoid repeated infections.
Procrastination strikes at any time but there seems to be a higher rate of incidence towards the middle or end of a school semester.
The first signs of the disease are a student’s ill-conceived perception of his abilities and present scholastic situation. The condition is compounded by an unrealistic notion that “It’s OK if I don’t do my work now because it’s not that big a deal.”
The victim rationalizes his conclusion in the following manner:
– I’ve been working pretty hard lately and I deserve a break right now
– It won’t take that long to do this assignment and it will be easy so I won’t have to work that hard to do it
– I’ll do a better job if I’m under pressure. I need the pressure of a deadline to inspire me
– This assignment is stupid and I don’t think it’s alt that important anyway so I won’t do it. Besides, it won’t really have an effect on my final grade.
Initially the infected victim believes his reasoning, but as deadlines approach, he starts questioning his judgement.
“I don’t know what came over me,” is the usual reaction.
Panic sets in and the victim becomes an unwilling participant in a cruel and bizarre game of “beat the clock.”
The cure is often worse than the affliction.
It’s an old-fashioned ritual based on an old-Roman custom for slaves and gladiators.
The victim enters the instructor emperor’s chambers with head bowed, and explains his plight while decribing his own pathetic unworthiness. The victim must satisfactorily explain why he cannot meet a deadline.
After shedding some blood, sweat and tears and throwing a tantrum or two, the victim might get the “divine extention.”
But this often compounds the victims procrastination problem. As if he doesn’t have enough assignments to worry about, here s one more.
The instructors emperors have seen countless victims through the ages and often show little sympathy.
In fact, it’s been said that there are instructors emperors who take pleasure in the sight of a squirming, helpless victim, much like their ancient Roman counterparts.
As with similar afflictions, a healthy way of life and preventative measures will minimize the risk of being infected with procrastination.
Stay on top of your workload and use time wisely. Try to get ahead of your workload now and you’ll be thankful later.
Above all, stay level-headed and don’t panic at the first signs of procrastination.
With continued perseverance and hard-work, applied to your studies, procrastination can be beaten.