Between the right turn and the left turn lies the center; between the upper class and the lower class is the middle class; between go and come is stay; and between laxity and hard work is procrastination.
Everyone’s life is activity filled – or is supposed to, and that circle does not exclude students. The average student is bugged by classes, practical, assignments and even tests before the ultimate exam. That’s minus the extracurricular activities and other unknowns like intimate affairs and religious affiliations, if into any. Accordingly, these cycle of activities, now a schedule – even if the student is stubborn not to sketch out a proper one, begs, usually, for an unfair share of unrelenting and unwavering devotion of time, which is usually never in fair proportion either; because 24 hours has a train to catch, your stomach needs to romance some appealing edibles, and your brain needs an hibernation. In such instances where a student is turn amongst, not between, a pile of almost equally important activities, and all are demanding – not begging – for some ridiculous amount of time, what comes to the mind of most students? I choose to call him the frenemy, procrastination himself. Man’s revolutionized serpent with the apple of doom.
Usually, procrastination comes in some form very much appealing, and very much delusional as well. He plays his cards with a doctrine quarter filled with truth, and the rest just bants. Procrastination is the voice that tells you to do later what you can, or – like most times – should do now. He appeals to the senses and ask questions, or make statements, seeming logical; “why don’t you just rest now and do it tomorrow?”, “if you die, won’t someone else do it? Go and eat”; “Just don’t kill yourself”. Yes, you need your rest, yes you have to eat, and yes! you should not kill, or overwhelm, yourself with excess activities and busyness. But, you know you are responsible for yourself and there are some things you need and ought to do.
Usually, procrastination is delusional. “The test is on Friday”, he says, “today is Tuesday, sleep, you’d read tomorrow and Thursday”, and you know full well if that test be shifted, failure is sure, then you are about to get in trouble, should you listen to procrastination. “You have to submit the assignment 10am”, he says again, “this is just 8am, just go and eat and come back to do it”, well, you are about to get into some trouble if you listen to him. Most students use taking care of themselves as a form of self deceit to procrastinate what they ought and suppose to do. As a student, your ally and enemy is time. It could switch instantly, particularly when you play yourself. That said, when you have a task, ensure to complete it way before the deadline, then you can rest all you want and eat all you want without being nervous.
Another ploy procrastination takes is to smoothly magnify your capabilities into the impossible. You have a test the next day, and you have read only 3 of 8 topics, and you are trying to bury the 4th in your medulla, procrastination comes by and says; “see, the way you are, you do need a good rest. Test is by 1pm tomorrow, just rest now and try waking up 5am. Set multiple alarms, then read from 5 till 12”. It’s a scam! Think of it, you who couldn’t get four topics in your head since you started reading, you’d then get in five topics within 7 hours? and that’s if you didn’t have your bath or engage in some petty discussions. Run! You’re human. That’s just willful ignorance listening to such advice from yourself. You played yourself.
A third major ploy procrastination employs is the smearing of others. He goes “look at the folks who have been in the library far before you, did they get good grades? You’re even topping some. C’mon, just flex and chill”. Again, scam! Using others as a yardstick has to be one of the highest disservice you can give yourself. You are not them, and the nice thing is, procrastination would not tell you about those who are dubbed “library merchants” topping your class. Smooth, isn’t he?
Look at all of those ploys. On the surface, they do look smooth. They look reasonable and logical. They look good advice. But do not fall for it! Always look deeper into advice you get, even the ones you get from yourself. Take a look at the long term effect. Carefully juxtapose the transgression of the advice with the fulfillment of it and reach a compromise for yourself.
You know the ploys of procrastination now, and those who are – or who were once – prisoners of procrastination will know that the long term effect of listening to his advice are terrible. They either have you nervous and anxious, cause you to give up or even doubt your abilities he once magnified. No good student, no student seeking improvement – not just in academics alone – will sit to hear the advice of procrastination, let alone follow it!
Ensure you do things on time, and far before the deadline. Set your priorities right and know what you need the most. If you need food, or sleep, leave that assignment alone and do the necessary. If you didn’t procrastinate, though, you’d barely be in such position. But if being in such position was never your fault, try to pull the stunt of getting out of it – it’s what students who seek improvement do – and if your eyes won’t let you, go get some sleep! If your stomach won’t let you, go get some good food!
That said, if on the other hand, you need a good sleep, or a good food, but it is imperative you finish that assignment, sit your ass there and get it done. It is one of the price you pay for greatness. But in all, ensure you discard the advice of the frenemy, procrastination. And even more, discard him totally, he is no good for you. Because he is not a friend, he is a prisoner.
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