Procrastination Nation

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See this map? This is where I’m at right now in my life.

We have reached the crucial part of the semester, and that is dead week. Starting on Monday, I will only have a week until finals begin. This is the time of year when I sit back and reflect on just how much I should have accomplished before I reached this point. Sadly, the list is usually quite long and honestly a little depressing.

I’ll admit it, I’m a chronic procrastinator. The problem started in middle school. Not to brag or anything, but I was somewhat smart back then. Homework and tests were easy to me, so I would put of studying until the last possible moment and then walk away with an A. The pattern continued into high school, where I learned I could also do the same thing with papers and still maintain a solid GPA. And then college hit.

Talk about a wake up call. I could no longer just skate by and do okay. Assignments require a little bit more effort than what was expected of me previously. Tests now require that I actually read the textbook that I paid millions a good amount of money for. Does this stop me from doing it? Absolutely not.

Which brings us to today. I’ve set up my planner, I know when my tests are, and already I’m trying to plan next week so I can spend as much time with my friends as possible before break. I’ll probably end up cramming the night before like I usually do, it’s who I am. The first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

That’s not to say procrastinating school work hasn’t served me well in other areas of my life. Case in point, I was avoiding putting together a presentation over Thanksgiving break and instead used the time to import all of my random ramblings into Scrivener. As it turned out, I had written 50,000 words more than I thought I had. (This goes to show the importance of saving files in the right folder!)

I’ve set a date of when I want to have the first draft of my story done. Jackie, one of my good friends who reads my work, knows the date, and I know she’ll hold me to it. This isn’t something I can wait until the last possible moment to get done. I mean, I finished NaNoWriMo this year thanks to a 11,000 word surge the last week, but I don’t think I can push out 100,000 words in the same timeframe. This is the first time I’ve set a concrete goal for an end date, instead of just writing whenever the urge comes over me. Scrivener has this awesome feature where you can set your target word count and a deadline for when you want to meet it. In turn, the program will tell you how much you need to write a day in order to meet the deadline. I wish I would have found it during NaNoWriMo, but I’m glad I have it now. Right now I only need to write a little more than 500 words to stay on target, which isn’t intimidating. In fact, I’ve often found myself getting into a groove and writing more than what’s needed, which is fantastic! As long as I can stay focused, I can do this!

(Wait, someone wants to go to Frozen tonight? Yeah, I’ll totally go!)

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