You know what I love?
Not having to do anything or go anywhere…
I’m not lazy, but I can be a huge procrastinator.
It’s because I know once I start a job,
I’ll devote hours if need be to get it done right.
All that tireless effort stresses me out to think
about beforehand, but once I’ve completed the task,
I feel a sense of accomplishment and
We’d probably be late for our own funeral.
I had a date last week. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant at 7 p.m. At 7 p.m., when I was still miles away from the restaurant, I texted the guy and said, “This might be a good time to mention that I’m one of those annoying, perpetually late people.”
Way to make a first impression, right? The thing is, I really thought I’d be on time. In fact, I thought I’d be early.
I was late for a variety of reasons: my hair looked crazy, my kids needed to tell me a very long, involved story about hunting for Sasquatch right as I was about to walk out the door, the place we were supposed to meet at was 40 minutes away, I got lost, I got stuck behind a train, and I was also dealing with the paradoxical “extra time.”
The struggle is real, people.
Here are 21 struggles of perpetually late people:
1. We don’t do it on purpose.
It isn’t our goal to make you insane while waiting for us. Well, it isn’t usually our goal, but I suppose some of us might use tardiness as punishment for some of you.
What? I didn’t say I’d ever done that! But really, it isn’t about you. Promise.
2. We’re not good at managing our time.
People think we don’t care about their time. It’s not that we don’t value your time; we just aren’t really good at managing our time.
We have this idea that we can get ready in half an hour. It never works that way, but we’re optimistic that one day there will be a glitch in the space-time continuum and it will work.
3. Our friends don’t trust us.
Our friends know that when we text them, “be there in 10 minutes,” it really means, “I’m thinking about turning off Netflix and getting in the shower.”
4.We generally try to be on time. Really.
It’s just that it’s so hard to really get out the door. Stuff happens, like Facebook.
5. If we have kids, we will be late.
And the younger those kids are, the later we’ll be late.
It happens. Just as we’re about to walk out the door, we have to help find an escaped Guinea pig, explain the Pythagorean Theorem because our kid’s teacher assigned 20 pages of math homework due tomorrow, or comfort a kid because her imaginary friend won’t play with her.
It’s the #ParentLife.
6. We want to look our best.
It takes time to look this good. Before I go out, I have to apply 12 coats of mascara and change clothes at least 8 times.
And let’s not forget the constant battle of what to do with my hair — straighten it, decide it’s too humid and I look like Roseanne Rosannadanna, curl it, realize that that makes it worse, wash it and start over, apply a quart of goo and straighten it again.
You should be happy that we care so much about how we look for you.
7. We have a fear of looking like losers.
You know what happens when you show up on time? You might be the first one there! Then you have to pull out your phone and go down your contact list, texting random friends so you don’t look like a loser sitting there by yourself.
“I know I haven’t talked to you in 4 months, but how are you? Oh, wait, never mind. My date is here.” Awkward.
8. We want an excuse if we’re stood up.
If we get there on time and our date or friends don’t show, we could be sitting there fake texting, drinking, and eating our weight in bread-sticks for hours before we realize we’ve been stood up.
If we’re late and our friends aren’t there, we can pretend that we just missed them. You know, on account of us being late.
9. Our alarm clocks aren’t effective.
Our alarm clocks come equipped with this thing called the “snooze alarm.” When you hit it, you get to sleep an extra 9 minutes. I know, right?
If you ask me, I’ll tell you that I’m one of the smartest people in my fields of expertise. (These fields would be designing, architecture and writing. Well… also sleeping and procrastinating, but let’s ignore those.)
I am also perhaps one of those who could save this world: I have, at multiple points of time, thought up bizarre strategies and solutions to international, social problems, created many utopian worlds that will never have petty problems like World Peace, and even drafted theories that prove that aliens exist (and that they look like humans) and also that they absolutely don’t.
The only reason I can’t provide concrete, bibliographic references is just because… well, stuff happened. (Read: I was − kind of − sleepy.)
Over years (of “lying in my bed and cooking up theories” is not serious enough to appear professional − um, yeah, let us go with− ) of intense, analytical thinking,
I have discovered that my working process has a series of typical stages in itself.
Stage 1 – (Mis)Perception Of Time
The whole process starts with the allotment of responsibility (or in other words, an assignment or a job). With every responsibility, there is always a deadline. Say, a design project with its due date scheduled a month later (or a writing job due to being submitted after five days).
Since I feel fairly confident about these, I find the allotted time a bit exaggerated. So I set aside, what I think, is the amount of time I’ll really need: one week (the last one, in case, you were curious), and use the remaining time to indulge in something I am interested in: Like re-reading James And The Giant Peach − because, how can you not?
Stage 2 – Develop A Figurative Paralysis.
At the end of the ‘free’ three weeks, the first day of the ‘working’ fourth week finds me sprawled out on the bed. Or couch. Or even upon the floor sometimes. This is the vital stage when all the ambitious thinking takes place.
While finding the strength to rise and begin work, I’ll have all sorts of innovative ideas. Both, work-related: user-friendly solutions, eco-friendly solutions, creative façade development and what not; and non-work related: the aforementioned theories at the beginning that I am honestly quite proud of.
Anyway, the fact doesn’t change. The last week is here and I’m paralyzed by unwillingness.
Stage 3 – Racing Against Time… Like A Pro.
With one day down, and the time ticking (and also my peers asking me doubts about the same assignment that begin to sound like cryptic codes), I’ll shake myself up and eventually begin it. On the first day of working (a.k.a. the second day of the week), I’ll still have the ambitious ideas from the Stage 3. I’ll work vigorously and be utterly proud of the amount of work I can complete in one day − positive about the whole thing. I seem to reach my highest potential here as I multitask and finish things in record time.
Everything seems great at this phase. I’ll even be ready to repair my laptop in the event that it hangs, because, hey, I told you already that I was a genius. I’m nothing less than Wonder Woman in this stage. Anyone who doesn’t agree can safely expect to be hit by something from the other world.
Stage 4 – Realise The Misperception.
In spite of the superpowers, I do end up working the entire night on the last day of the last week. I undergo all the Five Stages Of Grief, multiple figurative cardiac arrests, blood pressure fluctuations, and an unhealthy amount of anxiety.
Also, most of my ambitious design solutions can never get incorporated because those have certain factors that need more time to be worked out to eventually become the solutions they were meant to be. The result is another average student’s design which is just enough to clear the subject.
Stage 5 – Repeat.
The finale always takes me by awe at everything that I can achieve in just one week’s time. I also always wonder that if someday I sincerely utilized the entire given month, I’m sure I would kick-ass in my class.
However, by the time another responsibility rolls by, I’ll remember that I essentially did finish my previous assignment/s in just one week, and thus, my ambitious cycle will be reset on repeat.
Procrastinators often do not even know that they’re procrastinators. Technically they might be innocent of the fact that they have turned procrastinators. We’re here to help you do away with this oblivion. If you’ve fallen prey to at least seven of the below-mentioned symptoms, you’re a procrastinator. And that’s not a good sign at all, we’ve got to work at changing ourselves.
Symptoms of Procrastination
You wake up late
You aim at being an all nighter and keep delaying tasks for the morning. Your night finally ends with power naps and you realize that you’re not even close to finishing your work and it’s already the next afternoon.
You can sleep all the time
You have no clue about when to sleep or wake up. You sleep when you want to delay things a little more. You do not have a schedule in mind which makes it all the more difficult for you to start working on time.
You are getting addictive
Shopping, eating or biting your nails releases you of stress momentarily. But you often find yourself indulging in such activities to get away from the long list of pending chores.
You don’t trust yourself
You just can’t seem to keep a promise, even to your own self. You realize that your promises are only meant to be broken and therefore stop trying.
You despise hard workers
Deep down, you truly admire how determined hard workers are. You wish to be like them someday. But you convince yourself that you cannot.
You don’t remember the last time you hit the gym
Getting fit is a dream. Bad sleeping habits and food addictions keep you far from your fitness goal. Even though you make plans of getting fitter very often, you just never seem to be able to stick to them.
You’re always late
Your friends are always mad at you for not turning up on time. You’re the reason they end up missing out on rock shows and movie screenings. You do not understand the idea of being on time and despise it.
You wouldn’t want to put in the effort to clean your wardrobe or workplace. You would rather let it be the way it is unless there is absolutely no other choice.
You wake up when deadlines strike hard
Your inner voice only screams in the case of a fast approaching deadline. That’s when you start cursing yourself for having wasted all the time you had.
Daydreaming is an addiction
You can’t figure out how to go about your work. So you daydream instead! When work strikes you, you decide to put everything aside and escape into your own kingdom of happiness. This gives you relief and eases you of the burden of impending work.
How to Stop Procrastination?
Set milestones for a task
Most of the time, you find yourself procrastinating because you think the goal is not achievable. Break down your task into little parts and focus on only one part at a time. If you procrastinate on a part, break it down even further. The task will now appear to be much simpler.
Create a working environment
The environment that you work in has a significant role in determining your productivity. Organize your work arena such that it inspires you to give in your best. Your workspace may appear to look boring beyond a certain span of time. Bring about changes to keep you motivated and excited.
Do not keep a single deadline for the entire task. As specified in the first point, break down your task into sub-tasks. Define a deadline for each sub-task. Then create an overall deadline for the entire task at hand. Example: you always longed to have a blog of your own. But it did not see the light of the day. What you should do – grab hold of an ultimate guide to write a blog. Bingo all information in one place. Also, remember to keep realistic deadlines so that you continue to stay motivated.
Keep distractions at bay
Things you turn to while you generally procrastinate need to be kept away. Make sure you have limited or no access to distractions like social media, video games, mobile phones when working. Focus only on the task at hand. You needn’t spend long hours working. Permit breaks once you accomplish a considerate part of your work.
I’m a paradox. I want to be happy, but I think of things that make me sad. I’m lazy, yet I’m ambitious. I don’t like myself, but I also love who I am. I say I don’t care, but I really do. I crave attention, but reject it when it comes my way. I’m a conflicted contradiction. If I can’t figure myself out, there’s no way anyone else has.
The older I get, the more I appreciate being home doing nothing.
If the last thought on your mind was some variation of “Everything is stupid, why am I awake?” then, despite what your seemingly productive peers may be telling you, you’re probably super creative and definitely an intellectual. Though words like “lazy” and “alarm clock” get tossed around a lot when talking about these infamous late-risers, there’s actually a fair amount of science on the side of sleeping in.
Those of us brave enough to “deviate from the normal sleep schedule” are considered “more intelligent,” according to research published in the Huffington Post. The finding was reportedly supported by research that suggested those who create fresh “evolutionary patterns” are generally the most progressive, a.k.a. intelligent. As noted by Elite Daily, recent research from a team at the University of Madrid showed that students who went to bed later (thus waking up later) actually scored higher on inductive reasoning tests.
Marina Giampietro, lead author of a study on men and women of all ages designed to measure creative thinking, asserts that general creativity is born from “the development of a non-conventional spirit” and “the ability to find alternative and original solutions,” as in, you guessed it, sleeping late. From Elite Daily:
It’s all about what you’re doing with the time you have. Yes, early birds might be more productive, but late risers are more creative.
Early risers take advantage of those morning hours to do mundane activities like go to the gym, make coffee and get to work early, but it’s the late sleepers who really take advantage of the night — the special time to create and invent something new.
Still mumbling “Everything is stupid. Why am I awake?” to yourself? Just go back to sleep. Science says that’ll be just fine.