The Four Stages of Procrastination

In keeping with my general change in life style (attempting to go Zero Waste, for example), I started doing something new this semester. Instead of being your average procrastinating college student, I started completing my assignments as much as a week before they were due. Of course, this was more out of necessity than out of any sort of organizational genius. If I don’t keep at least a week ahead of my responsibilities, I get so overwhelmed with work that I turn into some sort of bag lady with cats who is nasty to the people who love her. Even so, I find myself procrastinating to a certain extent, and I while I was cleaning the other day (avoiding studying for my huge concrete exam), I came up with this list.

Gee, I haven’t changed my sheets or made my bed for awhile…maybe I should do that before I do my water treatment homework.

The Four Stages of Procrastination

1. Denial. Pfft, it’s an open note test. I don’t need to study that long for it.

2. Avoidance. The guilt of avoiding what you actually need to do leads to perceived productivity. Some of my favorite avoidance methods are:

  • Cleaning. I’ll feel more like studying with a sparkling clean bathroom, right?
  • Cooking. I need to fuel my brain with delicious noms! (More often than not, this leads to an extremely anti-productive food coma).
  • Writing blog posts. I mean, I do need to stick to my Tues/Thurs posting schedule…it’s totally just as important as reinforced concrete.
  • Doing work for other classes. This is my favorite because you can pretend it isn’t procrastinating.
  • Playing with cats. Awwww so fuzzy!

Excuse me, I’m napping here. Don’t you have an exam to study for or something?

3. Panic. Ohmygod why did I think I had plenty of time to do this?! I’ll never get anything done! Woe! Woe! Often the panic lasts longer than the actual task will.

4. Relief/Hope. Ahhh, it’s finally done. Next time, I will get things done at a reasonable time. Except probably not.

My favorite kind of work-delay: playing with Sean.

Do you find yourself going through these stages, too? What are your favorite avoidance activities?

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4 thoughts on “The Four Stages of Procrastination

  1. My favorite form of procrastination is to make lists of everything: chores inside the house, chores in the yard, errands (geographically ordered from furthest to nearest), then lists of weaving and quilting projects to finish, then wish lists for me, and then for the rest of the family, then I prioritize my lists. When I am done, I reward myself with 3 (and only 3) games of Spider Solitaire. Of course, that all begins after I have read your new posting, check my email, look up the weather…………..

  2. I definitely go through those stages. I’m a HUGE procrastinator. I make lists for everything and then wait until the last possible minute to get them done. I tend to panic and shut down a lot of time until I absolutely have to get to work.

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