I have a problem. It haunts my sleep and turns my dreams to nightmares. It slips into the reality of my days and suddenly a perfectly lovely morning turns into night – a stormy, bad night. Not a pretty one with starlight and 20 degree weather (this is Canada.I’m talking in Celsius. Twenty degrees is actually pretty warm…like, t-shirt plus a light sweater weather).
The parasite that has been ruining my life is commonly known as procrastination. It sucks. Seriously.
You want to do something- say, write a certain action scene that you’ve been trying to write for the past four months- and you say that you’re going to start doing the thing at 0900 hrs. When you look at the clock, it’s 0904. You’re late, dammit, so now you have to start doing the thing at 1000 hrs (logic skills, everyone!). You do fun shit all day, telling yourself that you’ll eventually get it done; it’s not that urgent. When you next come to, it’s 2100, you have to wake up at 0500 the next day, and you still have two chapters to study, notes to take, three essays to write, and that same dumb scene to get through. The world comes crashing around your ears, and you start injecting caffeine into your veins, since drinking it is taking too long. You don’t have time for human things like drinking! You put on a diaper, positive that you have no time to go to the bathroom. Your hair turns from perfectly coiffed bun to a greasy, frizzy mess speckled with bits of half-eaten Doritos in three seconds flat. You go from human to barely alive fungus in that long night.
You come limping out of that scenario, battle-scarred, but stronger for the experience. You tell yourself you’ll never do this again, because caffeine can never truly replace sleep in your heart. The next day, the same fucking thing happens. Because you’re an idiot with a problem.
Now, I don’t actually have a solution to this, but about 29% of the time, what works for me is taking a good, long look at myself in the mirror at that 0900 hrs deadline. I ask myself, “do you really want to become a Doritos monster with a caffeine addiction?”. Sometimes, the answer is yes…because um, intelligence. Other times, the answer is no. In that case, I’ll either get so freaked out at the notion of washing my gross hair the next day that I’ll just buckle down and work; or, I’ll give in to my poor self-discipline and not work. Then regret it that night as I cry over my shitty essays. It’s a sad state of affairs when a writer can’t bullshit an academic paper.
So, who else has this problem? Fear not to tell me about your procrastination issues; this is a safe space.