I would have definitely classed myself as a procrastinator. A famous saying springs to mind – “Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today?”. Unfortunately this saying fell on deaf ears with me, but not in recent times I’m glad to say.
About two or three years before now, I would have always put off doing my College assignments. I would say to myself that the deadlines were miles away, “I’ll be grand”. I’ll. Be. Grand. The worst three words known to Irish procrastinators. To someone who is not Irish, the phrase “I’ll be grand” or “Be grand” sounds something like “I will be opulent” or “I will be magnificent”. What the phrase means couldn’t be any further from that.
I’ve often caught myself saying it in my head as a lecturer is giving us an upcoming deadline. I would say to myself – “Sure thats months away, be grand”. It basically means “I won’t do that today because I’m really lazy and the deadline is really far off”. At first I would feel good; a deadline months in the future? Well future Aidan can worry about it, present Aidan is going to play Xbox and watch Mad Max Fury Road four times. But ever so slowly, another deadline would be given, then another, and another, and soon the work would be up to my neck. Yet still I would procrastinate further, right up until the end where I would go into panic mode and rush the whole thing.
This semester has been very different. I’ve actually started caring about ‘future Aidan’ and how he feels. The less work he as to do, the happier he will be! So I’ve started to adopt a new work flow in my studies, where I begin my assignments as soon as I get them, then chip away at them till their deadlines are due. This means that I save ‘future Aidan’ from the mad dash at the end of term to get things done and I can take time to relax while others panic.
This new work flow has made me see the error in my ways. By actually doing the work right away, you can then take time out and not feel guilty towards the end of the deadline and take a breather while others are panicking. It has also helped me relieve some of the stress that students typically suffer while in College.
One thing that is definitely helping is My One Photo a Day Challenge. Knowing that I have to do it every day makes me want to get my work done faster so I can spend some time taking a really good picture and working on my skills with my camera. In reality, I believe it is a choice. Do I make my life hard now? Or much harder later? For me; the choice was as simple as I’ve just described.
Make life easy on yourself! I guarantee ‘Future you’ will look back and smile on ‘past you’ and mouth “You did this”, while walking up the steps to receive a degree.