The more I think about procrastinating, the more I understand why I get so frustrated with myself and everyone around me.
Procrastinating puts me in a state of panic:
- Will I finish on time?
- Will what I’m working on be sufficient?
- Is it good enough?
- Do I have everything I need to finish?
- What if something goes wrong?
- What if my computer breaks down?
- What if my finger slips and I accidentally delete everything I just typed?
- What if my cat/dog/child touches my computer and I lose everything I’ve been working on?
- What if my printer runs out of ink?
- What if the website to submit my assignment isn’t working properly or is shut down for maintenance?
- What if I’ve mis-remembered the true due date/time and I am actually too late?
- What if……?!
Inevitably, something always goes wrong. My in-box for school is filled with emails from students desperately pleading, begging me to accept a late assignment that he/she has EMAILED to me rather than submitted to the appropriate assignment link online because it closed just SECONDS before he/she could submit his/her document—even though we worked on the essay IN CLASS and the essay should have been submitted prior to the student even leaving class!!!
Or a student types his/her document in a program that isn’t sustainable by our campus online education system even though all students are told very explicitly the types of documents that are acceptable.
Oh, and don’t forget the whole, “I don’t understand [such-and-such] part of the assignment.” These are the ones who will email me at the last minute, asking his/her question and then get angry because I wasn’t sitting at my computer, anxiously awaiting HIS/HER email at exactly THE MOMENT he/she desperately needed me to answer his/her question.
Why am I saying all these things when I could so easily get in trouble with my school? Because every single thing I am saying is something I have done at one time or another or I myself have procrastinated in grading assignments such that I am emailing students, begging them to understand and to be patient with me as I FINALLY grade the assignment they completed two months ago.
Yes, it frustrates me to no end when my students procrastinate. Absolutely. But it frustrates me even more so when I procrastinate. I TRY not to get angry and act like a bear, but as I’ve already shared with you, that’s exactly what I act like when I procrastinate.
So procrastinating is a sad reality of life. The real question is: am I going to let it get the better of me or am I going to actively pursue ways of overcoming this defect in myself?
I know how I am answering that question…..how about you?