In high school, I was a big procrastinator, often staying up all night to complete a big assignment. I worked hard to correct this character “flaw” and by the time I had graduated from college and found a teaching job, I was a changed woman! I always arrived about an hour early, set my things up…and had nothing to do but sit there and get nervous! I decided that maybe some personalities are just suited to doing things at the last minute. For me, there’s no going back, but if you are a procrastinator, here are a few things to enjoy…
1. Some of the best work comes under pressure.
Often a deadline gives my brain the jolt it needs to come out of writer’s block. The best cure for writer’s block is writing, anyway, even if that writing is nonsensical and disjointed–very often, you can make something out of it. A deadline can force you to put pen to paper (or brush to canvas, or belongings in suitcase, or what have you?)
2. Procrastinating can aid efficiency
I know I always work faster when I’m down to the wire, and after all, the last minute is still a minute that is available for use! Why waste it by being already done?
3. You can benefit from the latest advances.
Maybe a resource will become available that wouldn’t have been if you’d finished your project or assignment earlier!
4. You feel more justified in putting that time towards your project.
There are so many demands on everyone’s energy, all the time. Especially as a mother, it’s harder to say no to distractions (or indeed, more important claims on my time) when you have plenty of time, but when it’s down to the wire, there’s no guilt in saying, “I MUST get this done, don’t call me for three hours.”
5. Two words: Adrenaline Rush
Let’s face it, it can be a bit of a thrill to work full speed ahead, no mercy, with a deadline bearing down on you. It’s pleasant to think, “Tomorrow, this will all be over”, but it’s also fun to really tear into a project, and to finally finish the last stitch and push back your chair.
Of course, if you are an early preparer, you will see these things differently–instead of using your last minute for the current project, you might work on a future one. You will realize that in a parallel to benefiting from things that become available at the last minute, you may no longer have access to, say, materials that sold out to those who came along earlier. It’s like running to catch a train; you might catch it, or you might just have more time to spend waiting on the platform for the next one. Everyone has to make their own call and chose their own preference–but if you’re a procrastinator, embrace it, I say! It’s not all bad. 🙂 Only beware that if you choose to write a post on procrastination, especially a post in which you claim to no longer do it, it WILL be the first deadline you’ve missed in months!
Do you tend to do things at the last minute or well ahead of schedule?