We’ve all been there. That moment in time where you’re lounging around, twiddling your thumbs, knowing damn well there is something more important you could be doing. Heck, I’m doing it now. Rather than writing this column, I’ve spent the last three hours watching YouTube videos on how to run a bee hive. Do I own a bee hive? Of course not. Could I in the future? Depending on how this whole writing thing goes, possibly. Actually, I wouldn’t mind being the local honey producer. Bears and lip balm producers all around would gather to marvel at my glorious honey.
You’re wondering what my fascination with bees has to do with procrastination. Well, in just a few short sentences my column was already derailed. Much like this column, my work has always been plagued by procrastination.
Whether it’s an essay, blog post, or column I’ve always found it to be difficult to do things ahead of time. It’s not that I’m careless and want to do poorly on them; it’s more that, other things seemed more important at the time. For instance, I could do my law exam two days in advance or I could finish Spartacus on Netflix. To me, the latter always seems like an obvious choice.
In Dr. Piers Steel’s The Procrastination Equation, Steel says “that the closer a person is to the temptation of fun the more likely they are to indulge.” What he means by that is, that little communication device in your pocket is one of the main reasons you never get anything done.
Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say that college students are lazy. That would just be kicking a man while he’s down. I would say that it has to do with the fact that today’s generation has been raised with the internet and everything that comes with it. Whether it’s social media or entertainment, the internet has spoiled us with instant satisfaction. Our minds are constantly elsewhere when involved with a task. It becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand when you know there’s that small possibility that you could miss out on something important.
Like, right now, I’m sure your thinking about your phone and instinctively grabbed it or checked to see where it was. Our brains have been rewired to have our phones (along with the internet) at the forefront of our minds.
With that being said, if we’re constantly thinking of our phones, we will ultimately give into theses urges and drop whatever we are doing at the time. I’m not saying everyone does this, but I’m sure a good portion of students do.
So, now the question is, how do we solve this problem? Well it starts with baby steps. Try placing your phone and/or modem at a friend’s house before leaving to go study. Or try selling them. The quick cash and clean conscience will sooth the pain of losing your sole source of social communication. However, if none of the previously mentioned steps work, surf the web for a bit and come back to it tomorrow.