The Power of Procrastination

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If there is one thing that everyone can bond over it is procrastination; when we were children we would avoid doing our then ‘horrific’ homework - making a booklet about the Ancient Egyptians or making  model volcanoes erupt, by playing Crash Bandicoot, updating our Bebo accounts or ‘playing out’. Even parents, uncle’s and godparents do it, with us now receiving horrifying snap chats entitled ‘chilling in the office’ or whatever seems so important that requires them to check their email every five seconds.

But exam season is underway and we all know that means only one thing, it’s time for us to procrastinate at a level we never have before.  

We’ve all read the words of Charles Dickens; “My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time,” we have nodded agreed, murmured at how right and wise Mr Dickens is yet that is exactly what we do.

Now is suddenly the perfect time to tidy your pigsty excuse of a room, to change your laptop screensaver, complain about a recent product you bought or even do your overflowing mountain of washing.

We pack up our rucksacks with books, packed lunches, laptop, pens and highlighters ready for a highly proactive day at the library, yet we arrive and without a doubt the first thing we do is check Facebook, email, twitter and, if we’re really desperate, our student email.

I mean a lot is obviously going to have happened online during our short gander to the library.

The only notifications you receive are from club nights you cannot possibly attend and promoters desperately trying to fill their echoing clubs over the tumble weed study period. No one else has a life entertaining enough to fill your newsfeed currently either.

The occasional library orientated frape amuses you for far longer than it should. Not to mention Facebook stalking people you hardly know being second to food breaks, one of the most exciting events of your library day.

But it’s not just Mr Zuckerburg that has hacked into the money maker that is procrastination, break into this not so secret secret and people may as well be throwing money at you. There’s now so many things to check, read and browse when you flip up that laptop screen; Buzzfeed, Tumblr, Pininterest and Stumbleupon that there is no way we can be expected to resist. How can we not?

What worries me more is how people procrastinated before. Obviously they did or Dickens wouldn’t have spoken so lowly of our favourite past time. But what procrastination was he discussing? I’m picturing students in old school University playing ‘heated’ (if there is such a thing) matches of chess over their revision sheets or a quick game of indoor croquet? Maybe I’m being naïve/ stereotypical but it is a thought, if my internet was blocked for a day would I just work solidly?

Realistically? No, I mean nothing is going to stop me people watching or making fake friends in my head with certain individuals I spot on every single visit to the library. I mean, 'spotted in the library' and 'hottie in the library' didn’t come about for no reason did they?

So I think the best thing to do is take a few notes from Oscar Wilde: “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do - the day after.” He was pretty flipping successful after all.

Suziee Cassels

19 year old Newcastle University student

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