In this world, there are people that are masters at planning everything to the T. Then there are people that try to be planners, but no matter what, they don’t accomplish what they are trying to complete until the last minute. That is how you end up with people shopping for Christmas gifts the last weekend before Christmas. Despite people saying they hate the stress that comes with procrastination, I believe deep down there is some kind of thrill of accomplishing things at the last minute.
Back when I was in college, I worked in advance to write the bulk of my essays (…sometimes), but somehow I ended up submitting papers five minutes before they were due. Sure the majority of the content was there, but editing was a real challenge because when I went back to read what I had written, my wording didn’t seem to make sense. (And when it comes to editing, things can never be perfect enough). So when do you pull the plug? Five minutes before the submission time was where I drew the line, and I had to hope that my computer wouldn’t crash while I was trying to upload my paper. It felt a bit like the “Procrastination” episode of SpongeBob. He scrambled to write an 800 word essay five minutes before it was due, which I would say is quite impressive.
I can’t tell you about all the chemical reactions that happen in your brain, but as the stakes increase with you getting closer to the deadline, it seems that much more relaxing when the burden of stress is removed…that is IF you accomplish the task. The other day I was participating in a non-edible gingerbread house competition. I knew there were prizes on the line. Yet I was up until one on the morning leading up to the day photos had to be submitted to finish the house. In my mind, I had a slight idea of what I wanted the house to look like, but each time I thought of another fake form of candy I could create, the night grew longer with each layer of paint or glue that had to dry. It came together nicely, but I did lose sleep over it.
For me, gifts are also a thing that are done last minute. I’m not talking about Christmas shopping. I am usually on top of that because I want to receive discounts from those Black Friday deals (Although I usually wait until Christmas Eve to wrap presents). However, when it comes to special occasions, I have the best of intentions to make the recognized person feel special, but I don’t get a good idea until one or two days before. When I say ideas, I’m talking about extravagant ideas that will make your parents swoon like special videos or creating a whole game for the person. Recently I created a scavenger hunt, which my sister didn’t think I would be able to create in time. It involved creating videos and puzzles, but after staying up late the night before, I was able to create an experience the whole family enjoyed.
Sure there is a type of thrill that can come from waiting until the last minute, but there can be consequences as well. You can end up losing sleep or pulling out some hair, but there is also the chance that you won’t finish what you set out to do. I definitely believe that there are some people that work better under stress than others, so it is important to know yourself. But even still, it is important to know that there are limitations to the amount of time someone can spend working on a given task in a day. I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to stop procrastinating any time soon. If I did that would be a miracle, but I think deep down there is something thrilling about the race against the clock. You can let out a sigh of relief because you accomplished something that was doable but seemed impossible in the moment. What is important, though, is to be realistic and recognize the limitations that are placed before you.