07 March 2005

My name is Steph and I have a problem...

I am suffering from a major case of debilitating procrastination. The other day, I read in someone's AIM profile that they have the very same problem of not being able to write papers earlier than the night before...I couldn't believe that someone else shares my affliction!

Seriously, for the last four years or so, I have written 98% of all major papers the night before they were due. And I'm continuing to struggle with this problem. The thing is that I am being positively reinforced to continue this bad habit b/c I still get good grades on them. I told someone about this the other day, and he said, "So what's the problem?" The problem is that the process of writing is just complete agony, and I end up berating myself over and over again, "This is hell! I am never going to do this again!" And what happens? Here I am writing a blog entry (well...it's been like three weeks since I posted! oh the excuses) when I have a midterm paper due tomorrow. Sigh. I've even attemped to unplug the ethernet cable from my laptop about 23 times today to prevent myself from going online and obsessively playing around on Friendster. Ahh, I need help!!!

With all the things going on in my life (part time job, school, research, attempting to be social every now and then), I feel like I'm going to have to snap out of this procrastination cycle or DIE!!! The fact that I have time management issues now makes me feel like I'll never survive in a doctoral program. Ugh, I feel so screwed! Do you have any suggestions? If there's a procrastination pill out there (who me, rely on a panacea?), please let me know!

p.s. I'm sorry for the totally self-absorbed nature of this post. I promise not to do it again (for a while anyway). More intellectual matter will follow.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

For some reason I'm actually good at time management, and I'm not sure why, but here are a couple of reasons:

1. I don't overschedule myself. My biggest fear in college is not having enough time and not getting enough sleep. These are two things overscheduled people must deal with.
2. I don't think I can write good papers if I don't start in advance, plus, I revise incessantly. So I am forced to start early because I have never been one of those people who could comfortably "bullshit" a paper and get a good grade. While I haven't gotten a bad grade on a paper I started the night before (because I really only do this on really short papers), I have gotten bad grades on papers I worked on in advance. Unfortunately, this usually just means I should have spent more time on the paper, not less. Lesson: sometimes a bad grade can get your ass in gear.
3. I worry a lot. Sometimes I procrastinate and worry at the same time, but after awhile, I just say, fuck it, I'm going to start writing--this paper won't be good now, but by starting early, I will have more time for improvement.

All this being said, if you can do well and not spend a lot of time on something, more power to you. Fear of not getting sleep and doing too much work at once (basically what I did in Junior year of high school when I was frickin neurotic) usually keeps me relatively on top of things. I think you just need fear and a bad grade.