Category: Procrastination


The Procrastination Continues

I don’t think it’s likely to ever stop, actually. As much as I tell myself that I’m not going to procrastinate things when I get into college or an actual job, I kind of doubt that I’ll be able to throw off the years of habitual procrastination.

Anyway… I would really love to say that this blog post isn’t going to be just me complaining, but I’ll be honest. This post is definitely me complaining. No matter how much I can cleverly make it sound like I’m just pondering life questions and being philosophical, it’s just me in my bedroom, procrastinating my AP Chemistry homework.

I don’t care how motivated and against procrastination you are; if you were in my AP Chemistry class, you’d be procrastinating. Exhibit A: my friend Kayla. Kayla is the only other girl in my AP Chemistry class, which sounds sad only until you know that there are only seven (soon to be six) people in our class. We’re smarter than those guys anyway… no, we aren’t. The point is, out of all the geniuses in our class, Kayla is the one most likely to succeed. She is literally first in our graduating class. Seriously, when we get our transcripts, we’re ranked out of everyone in our grade. I’m usually around 100 out of 300 and Kayla is always numero uno.

She’s had a 4.0 since probably elementary school and she doesn’t procrastinate. She goes home, her mother sits her down at the table and she gets all her homework done. Always. She was even in my AP Literature class, which was pretty rigorous. She never skipped a day of reading or an essay. Not only does she get fantastic grades, but she’s awesome as well. We watched BBC Sherlock at another friend’s house once.

Little Kayla; practically perfect in every way. Even she procrastinates our AP Chemistry homework. It’s so hard.

Unfortunately, the end of out trimester is in two days. The time to procrastinate has gone and I’ve been working on my AP Chemistry homework all day. Well, all day since I got home from church. There are three biggish things that I have to do, so I’ve prioritized them and whatnot, but now, eight hours later, I’m not even half-way done with the first thing on my list.

I have a whole host of lame excuses for not having it finished. One of those things is that I have a headache that my drugs didn’t take care of this time, which infuriates me just a little, along with not being able to sit up straight because my back hurts from sitting up straight upon request from my physical therapist. Because of this, I took a few hours to nap and then I tried to watch a documentary while I worked, but that didn’t pan out and now that I’ve napped, I’m super tired. I had to wake up earlier than normal this morning after having stayed out late  last night (role-playing a gnome, I might add).

Crap… this is getting too whiny… Now I shall make up something profound.

A lot of different people (teachers, parents) try to tell kids that they have to learn how to work while they’re young so that they’ll have a good work ethic when they grow up. Part of that ideal work ethic is the ability to do something that’s super hard even though you don’t want to do it.

I grew up in a pretty hard-working family. My parents volunteer us for every service project that hear about, which is fine most of the time. However, because of a few different factors (ones that I call genetic factors, just so I can blame stuff on my parents), lethargy is one of the things at the top of the list of things I struggle with the most. My grades in school haven’t always been the best, not because I don’t understand the material (though sometimes that is the case), but because I can’t seem to force myself to do the homework.

This is even worse than me trying to get up in the morning. I hate getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I schedule fifteen extra minutes in the morning that I use to get myself out of bed. It’s kind of pathetic, but I am not a morning person and it could be worse. Fortunately, since I got into high school, I’ve become slightly better at forcing myself to do stuff. The key is to make yourself interested in the work you have to do. Whenever I have to write English papers or essays, I get myself really excited because it’s the one time that I can (sneakily) incorporate sarcasm into my school work (my AP Lit teacher would frown at me right now and insist that it’s actually just verbal irony and not sarcasm).

I could go on with this, but I’m writing this blog post so that I don’t have to do my Chemistry homework. I swear I’m interested in the stuff we’re learning, but I just don’t want to have to plug a bunch of different numbers into the same three equations all night long.

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Banishment

As a sort of justification to the ranting that I am likely about to do,  I haven’t been able to sleep in on a Saturday morning for the last month or so. That’s the whole point of the weekend. I have school every other morning except for Sunday, but I still have to get up early to go to church. The only reason I don’t go insane during the week is because I know that I can at least sleep in on Saturday.

This morning at 6:20, my mother came into my room and woke me up (technically, her walking down the hallway to my room woke me up). Once again, she’d volunteered our family to go do some service project, which is fine, except for when it happens at 7:00 on a Saturday morning. It’s worth something to note that she could have woke me up at, like, 6:50, or something, which would have given me plenty of time to get ready if I had chosen to go, but she insists on everyone sitting around for hours before we actually need to go. She asked me if I was going (which she should stop, because she doesn’t usually give me a choice, but she implies that she does), to which I replied, angrily, that I wasn’t.

Five minutes later, she comes in again and asks me again. I give the same answer. Five minutes later my dad comes in and asks me why I am not going. I reply that I am sleeping. Yet another five minutes later, my mother comes into the room to tell me that my father has said that I am not allowed to get on my computer today if I don’t come. When I finally hear the back door slam closed, I am too much awake to go back to sleep. This puts me in a very fowl mood.

Surprisingly, the method of relaxation that I chose to combat this destructive-type mood was to do my math homework for an hour. Not surprisingly, I cannot understand how to do any of it even though I paid attention in class and took extensive notes. Also, half of the problems had angry looking fractions in them and reciprocals. I can deal with sine, cosine, and tangent, but secant, cosecant, and cotangent confuse me to no end.

My family got home around that time, but being the mature near-adult that I am, I decided not to speak to them. I then spent three more hours in my bedroom rearranging the posters and papers that are on my walls… I also colored… in a coloring book.

Either my mother forgot that I wasn’t allowed on my computer or she’s just too used to making idle threats (both, probably). Unfortunately, I’ve just wasted a half hour writing this blog post whilst I am supposed to be Script-Frenzy-ing (emphasis on the “Frenzy”). I’m sure I will finish if I can just knock out, like, twenty pages today… provided that I come up with something to happen next.

Due to my relative brilliance (joke), my To-Do list is topped with seven mini-reports to be written before tomorrow. Reports are never really that hard, but they do take time. The original assignment was for thirteen mini-reports, but I finished six of them yesterday. The problem is that I procrastinate like crazy and then I spend hours doing it the night before, but I don’t hate it and nothing “bad” ever happens to me because of it. I actually enjoy doing most work, so it’s not like I hate spending hours doing something in a rush, but it’s such a bad habit…

Oh, and it’s DEFINITELY not becoming a trend to blog about procrastination instead of doing something I should be doing. That would be stupid of me.

Procrastination, Part Two

Around this time last year, my friend, Leslie, and I decided that for the 2011-2012 school year, we were going to take AP Literature. Having been in a few English classes together previous to this time, we decided we were tired of the ridiculous people in normal English classes and the stupid things that we kept learning year to year. The idea was that we would stop being so bored in English class because AP Literature is supposed to be hard (it’s a college-level class). Anyway, we signed up for it, got our teacher signatures and whatnot.

Fortunately, we have our AP Lit classes during the same period all year, so we won’t go nearly as insane as we could have. The problem with AP Literature is that it’s almost as ridiculously tedious as a normal English class except for that more work is involved and that work is more thorough, but not necessarily more difficult. Our current problem in AP Lit, is that we have been reading Hamlet, which isn’t boring, but the teacher does her best to make it as boring as possible. We have to take notes and such and write about things during the whole thing, so we can’t really enjoy it. 

We started Hamlet about a week and a half before Christmas and we’ve finished it, now, about a month later. During that time that we were supposed to be taking notes and a bunch of other things, Leslie and I have sort of been slacking off (Leslie actually took notes, while I did… nothing). All of the unit stuff we were supposed to do is now due in two days. One month of work that I haven’t done very much of. Granted, I took about an hour and a half a few days ago and wrote down my minimum requirement of notes.

In order to remedy this, Leslie and I are taking advantage of our school-free day tomorrow and having… a BBC Robinhood marathon! The idea is that we finish all of our work while we’re watching. The sad thing isn’t really that we have a months worth of work to get done and it’s not that we’re going to sit in Leslie’s basement all day watching a television show, but that we have planned our time in such a way that we’ll be able to accomplish everything we need to do in one day. Aren’t college classes supposed to be harder than this? We are minimizing the time it is going to take us to do this into 1/30th of what it was supposed to be. We also find it ridiculous that our teacher wouldn’t let us watch the version of Hamlet starring David Tennant. Lame. 

This blog post idea came to be because this month I was supposed to be writing a novel in a month again, but I procrastinated because there were people I had to entertain, so… yeah. I have several ideas on how to eliminate procrastinating. I’m sure that some of them are just fanciful thoughts, but maybe they’ll work for someone…. or not… whatever….

1) If the reason for the procrastination is the fear of failure, preparation is very important. The only reason I finished NaNoWriMo 2010 was because of preparation (I’m sure there is a post about that on this blog somewhere if you really want to hear me ramble about it). The point is to make success so inevitable that you don’t have an excuse not to do it. Of course if it’s not something you want to do, then no amount of preparation is going to help you out, which leads us to,
2) Make sure it’s something you really want to do. If it’s just something that you have to do, then fear of failure is probably not your problem. The problem is that you don’t want to do it, so your brain is making up every excuse imaginable to not have to. There’s always the age old, “just do it” theory, but I know that that rarely works unless I can startle myself. Such as, your mom tells you to do something. Instead of thinking about doing it, just let that instinct of obedience kick in and do it before you realize that you don’t want to. If you have time to think about it, then…
3) Try to make it worth it. Think of EVERY possible reward (big or small, obvious or subtle) you could think of for doing it. Make a list, if you must! Or make up rewards for yourself if you finish. Don’t make them lame rewards like candy, because I’d crumble and just eat the candy… Make even as simple as bragging rights. If I had failed NaNoWriMo 2010 (like I failed 2009) most people wouldn’t even know that I’d tried, because one of the rewards that I’d made for myself was that if I finished I could go out and tell anyone and everyone and that I’d finally have an answer to the question “What is your biggest accomplishment thus far in life?”. Bragging might be a little prideful, but if you have something to be legitimately proud of, then why not?
4) I read/heard somewhere about reading scriptures (I am a Mormon, just so people aren’t extremely confused) that if you had a problem with reading them because you kept getting distracted by other more interesting books (not that the scriptures aren’t interesting, it just takes more work from you for them to be interesting and people [a.k.a. me] are super lazy), you should put your scriptures on top of the more interesting book and make the deal with yourself that if you read a certain amount, you can put them down and read what you really wanted to. This could (probably… maybe?) work on other things as well.
Such as with my current WIP (Work In Progress, for those of you who don’t know), what I did was keep the Word document that contained it open at all times. I love multi-tasking and I love being able to have multiple tabs/windows open at a time, but subconsciously it really bugs me to have a lot of things open, so when I do, it’s almost a game to me. I work as quickly and as efficiently as possible so as to eliminate the clutter, so seeing that Word document open all the time REALLY bugged me. It wasn’t so much that I would write because I was trying to finish so that I could close the window, but it served as a reminder that I had something I needed to be working on. Granted, this idea didn’t work as well as I would have liked it to, but I did get more written that I would have if I hadn’t left it open. The way I reminded myself to open it up again every time I turned off my computer was that I put the document shortcut in the middle of my desktop (this works because I keep all of my folders around the outside of the desktop because I like to see the desktop background… the little Word document in the middle of my lovely picture drove me to insanity)
Another example would be a certain Seminary teacher that I know. This certain teacher is currently in the process of reading my NaNoWriMo 2010 monstrosity. Just to give you an idea of the scale of the procrastination; the book is roughly 175 pages long (with BIG words, so…)(this wouldn’t have cut it for a seventh grade book report) and it’s super easy to read (believe me, I know, I wrote it). This teacher has had this book since about the second half of April, about two and a half months. He is on page eleven. Of course, he is an adult with a job and a family (and religious duties) so I suppose he has a fairly good excuse (in other words, I’m not writing this in judgment, just trying to be helpful).
This teacher is probably intelligent to come up with his own way of doing things, but my suggestion would be: DO NOT LEAVE IT OVER ON THAT TABLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM. I’m sure that stack of books over there is a very important stack of books, but you aren’t going to remember to read it if it’s not somewhere you can see it (or reach it, for that matter). Like I did with my WIP, just start carrying it around with you. Even if you don’t have time for it, it’ll either drive you mad that you are carrying around that useless lump, or it’ll make you feel guilty that you haven’t gotten anywhere with it. One of two things will (probably) happen; one, you will get used to having it there and begin to ignore it (like I’ve begun to do with my open WIP Word document) or, two, you will finally get so fed up with having it there that you’ll just finish it in, like, an hour and then you can give it back and pretend that it never existed.
SO, anyway, if you have something that you should be doing or you want to be doing, but you can’t seem to get over your procrastinative <—(That’s not actually a word…) nature, make that thing a constant presence in your life and then maybe you’ll be able to get it done. Plus, making a book you have to read (or one you have to write) follow you around everywhere can be amusing… until it gets annoying, which is kind of the point.
In closing, I’m actually impressed with myself that I was actually able to write a blog post with getting off subject, so… that’s fun. Considering that I’m writing this blog post because I’m procrastinating writing my WIP, I think it turned out well.
P.S. Brother Mickelson,
I’m kidding. :P

I’m going to talk about writing, because 1) it’s something I talk about a lot, 2) It’s something that’s easy to talk about, 3) it’s on my mind, 4) because I’m putting off writing in my novel because of issues that I will most likely outline sometime in this blog post, 5) I like typing and this is a subject that I could probably go off about forever. So, allons-y.

I’m not sure if I should start at the top of my list or at the bottom… So, I’ll start at the top, for fear of being cliche (of course, starting at the bottom as an act of rebellion is also cliche… LIVE IS ONE HUGE CLICHE!). Not a lot of people think that I talk much, but you should go talk to Leslie, because she will tell you that sometimes I cannot shut up. Especially if I’ve had an idea in my head for a few days. I won’t stop talking about it, but Leslie is just awesome and sits there patiently. I’m sure that sometimes she’s just ignoring me, but that’s okay because she always nods in the right places. When Josh was still living in our house, I would talk at him a lot while he was on his computer (I probably talk at Leslie more now because I don’t have Josh to talk at… sorry Leslie :P). Anyway, as you may or may not know, I am extremely insecure about my writing. If I even have a sliver of doubt (Stupid cliches xP) about something, I usually obsess about it. I am a very anxious person. At the same time, when I get a really great idea that I’m sure will never EVER fail, I can’t stop thinking about it, and because Leslie is the only one who can make sense of my disjointed thoughts, she’s the only one to whom I blab mostly.

I actually lied. Writing is not easy to talk about… in a way that makes sense to anyone besides Leslie, I mean. It’s hard for me to make sense when telling a story, so trying to explain the way that my mind works is next to hopeless. The best I can do is wave my arms and hands around wildly (which you can’t see because I’m typing) and hope that it makes sense… One of my former Seminary teachers, Brother Black, made fun of me once for waving my hands so wildly around. I don’t remember exactly what kind of discussion we were having, but I was trying to explain a question I had and he told me to calm down or I might hit someone.

Writing is on my mind because my friend, Amanda, wants me to do NaNoWriMo in June with her, since she was unable to do it in November. This works out because the OLL is going to do it again sometime during the summer anyway (YES!!!!). I’m trying to decide whether I want to use my time-travel novel idea for it… but I can’t really decide. Also, I finished the book I was reading yesterday and found myself (momentarily) without reading material, so I pulled out my book and was unable to think of something to write in it for almost an entire class period (until I found that I, indeed, had an extra book hidden in my backpack. HOORAH.).

Another issue I have is that, when I write, it’s like I’m opening up my soul and pouring out the story… or something like that. Also, I prefer typing to writing on paper. My computer is in my living room so as to connect it to the internet, but when I write, I like being in my room where it’s more private. Also, my mother has a nasty habit of watching over people’s shoulders whilst they write. I would drag my heavy, old desktop into my room, but then I forfeit my internet and IT’S HEAVY. So, I don’t want to start typing in the living room, simply because I don’t feel comfortable doing it here, but I also have to start doing this at one point or another, so… Procrastination is the answer for now. :P

So maybe I can’t go on forever with this topic, but it did occupy my attention for a while and I do like typing…………

I think that I am one of the people that cause average to be a C+, because I am currently sitting at a D right now in Geometry. Now I get to decide whether or not to do my homework. I don’t want to, but I should. This is a horrible dilemma.