student life

What I have taken away from procrastination

One of the greatest gifts one can gift oneself is the gift of knowledge. Learning is an ongoing process and it will never cease to end.

One of the greatest gifts one can gift oneself is the gift of knowledge. Learning is an ongoing process and it will never cease to end. In fact, what is the meaning of life if there is nothing more to learn? Thankfully, I am still learning something new every term. Well, I’m not talking academically, but about general life lessons—I certainly believe that life is our greatest teacher.

But funnily enough, life has been teaching me one particular life lesson in different ways since my first term of undergraduate college. And I have this premonition that it will continue to do so till I graduate my masters’ course later next month (I am very hopeful I will!).

Until now I have looked at this situation from this angle: Oops, wasted another term not studying and leaving things till the last moment! What a waste of time. Oh well, at least next time I won’t repeat this mistake! * But somewhere deep down in my conscious mind, “Yeah, right. What a joke!”

But now, I have changed my perception. I look at the very same situation from this angle: OK, so I didn’t do my assignments, but I learned something else in the process! *Pat on my back or a self-high-five!*

My point is, just because I’m not really channelling all my energy in doing my assignments at a time when I should be doing, doesn’t imply that I’m really ‘wasting’ my time. My energy is simply getting converted into another form than what was originally planned!

Now brace yourself for my list of ten productive ways of “How not to get your assignments done.”

Day 1

Start by making an extravagant schedule that will blow not only other’s mind away, but you will be surprised at your ability to make a table which is more unrealistic (thanks to certain someone called ‘laziness’) than your chances of going on that celebrity dream date you have been planning since the very first day you realized what a date was!

What do you learn: I did not waste time, but ‘invested’ it to organize my time and utilize it efficiently. And if I don’t end up sticking to it, I can always have the job of preparing unbelievable exam time-tables for students.

Day 2

Locate the library. Enter it. Learn how to find books and issue them. Open a book. Close it because it isn’t making any sense. Open second book. Close it because it isn’t relevant. Open the third book. Close it because it isn’t nice to drool on a public book. Get new books.

What do you learn: The library is a wonderful place where you can meet so many people unexpectedly, talk with them and in the process—exchange ideas.

Day 3

The unexpected and on the spot trip planned by friends.

What do you learn: C’mon, time spend with friends can never be classified as time wasted. It’s productive. No explanation required. And anyway, if you make your schedule without accounting for emergency day offs, you clearly need to rework on your schedule.

Day 4

Battle the urge to stick to your time-table and watch that cricket/football (or whatever sports makes you happy) finals.

What do you learn: Again, why didn’t you account for this contingency? Mate, you have serious flaws with that useless time-table! Anyway, what will happen is there will be loads of feeds on various social networking sites to which you will reply. And even after the match is over, you will spend the rest of the day voicing opinions to each status update or tweet.

But the learning comes when some smart a** dude will comment something so intelligent that you will have to google what it means. And then, you learn few new words, definitions and concept to give back a strong come back! (I know this one is a long process, but so worth it!)

Day 5

It’s that time of the year for another made up holiday (Hopefully you knew about this and shaped your study time-table around it).

What do you learn: More Facebook posts and Twitter feeds. More opinions and more arguments. But this time you know better. You learn to ignore. So instead you go try that festive recipe and upload pics on-line titled, “Yay, I made these cookies (or whatever it is you made), tastes yummy!”

This one is a good ‘procrastination in disguise’ productive activity; not only you learn what not to do while making the dish next time, but also you have raised your social status a little bit with the number of ‘Likes’ on your delicacy! 

Day 6

Well, the assignments are important, but at the end of the day we do need jobs. So, sit and apply for jobs. Go through a hundred job applications and keep applying till you stumble on some cute kitten videos on YouTube and spend another two hours laughing at Maru.

What do you learn: While applying for jobs you look at their “Skills required” and you realize how you know nothing! But yet you manipulate your resume and make it appear as if the job is not even worth your qualifications. And then you start thinking about your future and potential as a storyteller or fictional story writer. Self-discovery is worth every second spend not working on the assignment which will either pass or fail you.

Day 7

Well, let us finally return to those books. But wait, what is that odd book in between all those library loaned books? Ah, that novel you borrowed from your friend six months back. It’s rude to keep books that long, so finish reading that novel.

What do you learn: You read the novel really fast in order to return the book to your friend so that you don’t seem like a person who doesn’t return books! In the process you train yourself the art of speed reading. And this ultimately will help you read all those awful books you need to read for your assignments due in a few days!

Day 8

Suddenly the weather wants to play good. Mr.Sun is shining and flowers are blooming. Squirrels running around and ducks quacking. Guys playing football. Girls jogging. You stare out of the window and you are hypnotized to put on your walking shoes and leave assignments behind.

What do you learn: You are a human being. You can’t sit in front of the computer/laptop screen for hours like a zombie. You need to exercise and calm your mind. And all those binge eating (thanks to crazy deadlines we have no proper schedule of meals) is showing on you, hence walking around is good. You do need fresh air, right? Take more pictures of trees and animals and upload them. Appreciate nature. Bird watching activity becomes a by-product of this season. Again, appreciate the wonders of nature. 😀

Day 9

Now that even the flowers and sun have become a passé, focus. And when you are making good progress with the assignment, you start getting loads of rejection mails from all the companies you applied to on Day 6.

What do you learn: You feel sad. Get depressed for a while. Then speak with family and friends and spring right back. Learning to face rejection is really important. It helps immensely when you receive your crappy grades later and you laugh rather than cry over spilled milk!

Day 10

Finally, the day has arrived. The day before the penultimate day. You know you have forty eight hours to submit a decent assignment. But then again, you have to attend that last day of ‘SALE’ to purchase whatever nonsensical thing you really don’t need. You know what is good for you and hence run to the store with the sale.

What do you learn: You have limited time and budget but loads of options. Hence now you have to make the best judgment in a short span of time. The pressure is intense. You learn to weigh all the pros and cons and make a sound decision very quick. Working under pressure makes you strive to do your best. You give it your all.

And that my friends are ten things you shouldn’t regret doing when you are actually supposed to be working on your assignments. Let’s all face it, most of us enjoy the rush we get working on the penultimate day. There is a satisfaction you get pulling an all-nighter.

Moreover, you get to practice all the things you learned over the past few days over the last twenty four hours before your submission deadline. See, there are so many ‘meaningful’ things you can do when you don’t want to do assignments.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.