The Art of Dilly-Dallying
This could very well be the most important set of instructions ever written down in the history of college essays. What will be explained is a process that may sometimes be difficult to master. You inner workaholic may be itching to escape, but if practiced, like I have done for many years, it can be accomplished. Procrastination. The word itself is long, and requires a substantial amount of effort just to figure out how to spell it, but it is one of the most important tasks that a person can do. These instructions will give the reader insight into the mind of people who consistently wait until the last possible moment to get things done, who take many hours to finish an assignment because they take many “study breaks”. Today, you will learn how to join the ranks of people who complete one hour’s worth of work in eight hours, and eight hours’ worth of work an hour before it is due. Before diving in, it is suggested to put the essay down, go get a glass of juice and a snack, maybe use the bathroom, check your Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook again, refill your juice, watch that funny cat video your roommate sent you yesterday, tweet it, feed the dog, take out the trash, refill your juice, then sit back down, pick up the essay, and be ready for a mind blowing experience.
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Most people have heard of procrastinating. It often has a negative context to it. It is assumed that procrastinating means that the procrastinator is lazy, but that is not the case at all. In fact, people who procrastinate are the opposite. They are so busy doing so many other things that they do everything at the last possible moment. It takes a lot of time and energy to binge watch all six seasons of Gossip Girl on Netflix. With hour long episodes, and ten to twenty-five episodes per season-it’s no wonder why there was hardly any time left to finish the ten pages of homework due the next day! Don’t fret, however. The Gods have blessed humanity with a solution for situations such as this. It is one of the most essential tools that every procrastinator must keep in stock at all times. That is caffeine. Caffeinated beverages are prudent when it comes to finishing tasks within hours of a deadline. Some of the more popular options include Red Bull, Rockstar, and Monster. For slightly longer stretches of time, and to avoid a sugar crash, 5-hour energy shots are also an option, and of course simple coffee will do the trick as well. There is an option out there for every aspiring procrastinator. Ingesting the caffeine of choice should be done approximately thirty minutes before beginning the task. During that time, the procrastinator should find something to entertain themselves, preferably something that will take more than thirty minutes, just in case the caffeine take a little longer to kick in. A great option for the ladies-or gentleman if it’s something they are into-no judgement. This is a great time for a manicure. Not just plain painting the nails, but doing a full manicure process. Trim, shape, and buff the nails, do a base, color, and topcoat. Maybe add in some designs if you’re feeling artsy. You’re just looking to kill time. After about forty-five minutes to an hour, the buzz from the caffeine should be kicking in. Now it is time to get to work.
If the task requires a computer, the next few steps will be quite simple. If not, make sure to keep a smartphone, tablet, or something connected to the internet close by. Internet is a procrastinator’s best friend. If your work is handwritten, make sure to find the best pen possible, and make sure to have more than one, just in case one runs out of ink. For pencils, make sure to find one that has a good eraser, not the hard kind that will just make led smears all over the paper. Remember, when the assignment is turned in, it needs to look clean and nice so that it appears like it was completed a week ago and has been safe in a folder since then, not rushed the night before. Sharpen multiple pencils, and lay them out nicely in your workspace. By this point, it is likely that the caffeine beverage has gone through the digestive system, and now would be a good time to use the restroom.
Take time during this step. Work is best completed with a clear mind and an empty bladder. After washing hands make sure to dry them thoroughly, you do not want any water drops getting on your work. Check yourself in the mirror. Keep long hair out of your face, it can be very distracting if it is falling every few seconds. Check your teeth, nothing is more frustrating than trying to get an assignment done knowing there is something stuck in your teeth. Brush them if necessary. Now that you are clean and fresh, head out to your workspace. To review, there should be either a computer or another device connected to the internet, multiple pens, sharpened pencils with good erasers, and your assignment. Time to get to work.
Working on a computer makes this very simple. Open up your assignment on the computer, a tab for research, and a tab for dilly-dallying. It is probably best to check your social media accounts first. Make sure that there haven’t been any life altering notifications since you last checked. Once that is done, work on your assignment. Yes, seriously. This is procrastination, not complete negligence. Every step in procrastination has a purpose, something that is relevant and makes the inevitable assignment easier. For example, finishing Gossip girl was a necessity, how could anyone possibly get any work done with the questions lingering in the back of their minds. “Will Chuck and Blair get married?” “How about Dan and Serena?” “How can Dan and Serena be together if their parent’s end up together?” And of course “WHO is Gossip Girl?” These questions can really mess with a person who is trying to concentrate. Every so often, check social media again, watch a viral video, check your email, do something that will stimulate your mind and keep you going so you aren’t just staring at a boring assignment for what seems like forever, it will make you want to do it less and less. If you are not using a computer, this is what the other device is for in place of the computer.
After completing a decent amount of work, it’s likely to get burnt out. That is a good time for a snack. At this point, if you truly procrastinated, it probably late night, possibly creeping past midnight, so not any snack will do. Make something that will keep you satisfied. Can’t concentrate with a rumbly tumbly. This is entirely up to the procrastinator, everyone has different preferences, dietary restrictions, etcetera. A suggestion might be something with carbs to keep up the energy, and protein to keep you full. After finishing eating, wash up, go to the bathroom, and get back to work. After knocking out another chunk of work, you will be left with a few options. Take a study break, find a stopping point, or refuel.
If you choose to take a study break, this one should not be as long as the previous breaks, it is probably getting pretty late at this point, and if you go too much longer things will start making less sense, work will be sloppy, and you might start dozing off. Go with the study break option if you are starting to feel like you “just want to get it over with” but you know you only have a max of thirty minutes of work left. Spend your study break how you feel necessary. Make another small snack, drink some water, go to the bathroom, whatever you need to go to clear your head so that you can power through the last of your work. If there is more than thirty minutes of work left, but you just don't think you can go on, find a stopping point. The problem with this option is that it is just procrastinated to the point that you need to procrastinate more. Find a good place to stop, and set your alarm for the morning. The assignment must be completed before it is due, otherwise it is no longer procrastinating, it becomes negligence and irresponsibility. If you must get up early, then that is what has to be done. As long as the assignment is done on time. The third option is not for the faint of heart. The refuel option means returning to the energy drink step, and starting over. This is for people who want to get all the work done in one go. People who do not have time to spare in the morning before it is due, therefore it must be finished before retiring to bed. This is an All-Nighter. Pulling an All-Nighter means that you will most likely be working until the sun starts peeking up over the horizon, the lucky ones still get to squeeze in an hour or two of sleep.
The process above will teach you how to procrastinate any assignment that must be done. With this, even the hardest working workaholics will be able to cram things in at the last second. It will be amazing how hours worth of work, that probably should have been done over the course of several days can be done in a single evening. Just remember, procrastinating is about finishing an assignment in a short period of time, not skipping or cutting corners. True procrastinators take pride in finishing all their tasks 100% in the hours before they are due.