Photo by mandj98
The Procrastination Demon bites us all from time to time. It is simply human nature. While we would all benefit from overcoming this productive killer, I am not here to tell you how. I am only here to tell you all about the seven stages of procrastination and their progressions.
Here we go!
How can you accomplish anything without the proper preparation?
Proper procrastination begins with N.E.T.S., or napping, eating, to-do-listing and showering. Sure you slept 10 solid hours last night, but wouldn’t one more hour make all the difference? You may not be hungry, but you are certain that half-eaten bag of Sour Cream and Onion chips is brain food. You also want to write a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish to finish your task. This will ensure that you complete everything in the most efficient way possible. And of course, you can’t start working if you haven’t yet cleansed yourself. So, you reward yourself with a hot, 3-hour shower.
The training stage is also known as “The Optimistic Period.” It is characterized by the strong belief that once training is complete you will work swiftly and efficiently to complete your task. Enjoy the final moments of this stage, because a cloud of dread is about to form above your head.
Song Recommendation: “Rocky Theme Song” from Rocky
At this point you realize there is no more training you can do to continue avoiding your project. A feeling of dread completely consumes you. This stage is characterized by silent periods of depression and nostalgia. You miserably sit in the fetal position daydreaming about happier times. When you aren’t thinking about how much you are dreading working on your task, you are fantasizing about how amazing your life will be once it’s all done. Once this gets old, you just sit there thinking about all the other things you would rather be doing.
Song Recommendation: “Mad World” by Gary Jules
After a long, devastating hour of feeling sorry for yourself, your dread turns into anger. You feel as though everyone is out having fun while you are being tortured by the Procrastination Demon. You are downright livid and you want everyone and their pet hamster to know it. Although most people don’t care, you feel inclined to tell the world every little detail of your sorrow. Forget the fact that Vladimir’s grandmother, Oksana, a recent Russian immigrant, doesn’t speak a word of English, you’re sure she’ll hang on to every word about your struggle.
This stage is often triggered by an invitation to do something fun like watch a Charles in Charge marathon with your closest friends.
Song Recommendation: “Imperial March” from Star Wars
4. Getting Your Priorities Out of Order
Even though you have so far accomplished next to nothing, you feel the need to take a break. You need an escape from all that escalating pressure, and you are willing to do just about anything to put off thinking about the task at hand. Unfortunately for you, the thought of the project is destined to linger in the back of your mind.
During this stage, you immediately log onto Facebook or Myspace. You feel it is of the utmost importance that you find out if Ziggy and Myrtle’s on again, off again relationship is currently on or off. And, you just have to know if Oswaldo finally posted those pictures of his summer volunteering in Tanzania.
After you have carefully studied every detail of your every acquaintance, you move along to finally responding to that lovely e-mail your great aunt had sent you four months prior. Other activities include eating, watching TV and listening to your favorite Spice Girls album.
Although you are “entertained” by these activities, nothing you do is actually fun.
Song Recommendation: “99 Red Balloons” by Nena
5. Time Shift
I am not talking about time travel here. No siree. Time shifting is far more powerful and much more evil. What I speak of is when you tell yourself you will start working in exactly 10 minutes. When that magic time arrives, you just aren’t quite ready to get to work. You negotiate with your conscience for an additional 10 minutes… only this time you are certain you will definitely work hardcore when the time comes.
This phenomenon is known to go on and on for several hours and often overlaps with stages 1-4.
Song Recommendation: “Clocks” by Coldplay
6. The Ugly Realization
This is the hardest part to swallow. At this stage, you come to the realization that you have done everything but what you originally set out to accomplish, and you feel worse than a pig at the Big Pig Slaughter.
This period is a time of reflection and truth. A period in which you begin to see everything clearly. You think about how you wasted eight hours of your life. Not only did you get nothing done but you didn’t even have any fun. You realize that you always do this and claim you will never procrastinate again because you have “finally learned your lesson.” You actually believe this statement and conveniently forget making it next week when you have a new project to complete.
This stage is filled with sadness as you think of that Charles in Charge marathon you missed and the sleep you will not be getting tonight.
Song Recommendation: “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas
The sooner you accept that old-fashioned hard work is the only path to finishing your task, the better.
Eventually you stop finding ways to procrastinate and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Your heart begins to beat at a quicker pace than usual and you feel abnormally alert. You suddenly feel fully committed to doing what you need to do. Magic overtakes you, and you begin working hardcore. Nothing short of a meteorite landing on your workspace will distract you from completing the task at hand.
The moment you finally complete your task is glorious to say the least. You scan your workspace and see a war zone. Scraps of food lie idly. Papers are scattered throughout. Unidentifiable spillage is within sight.
As you look into the mirror, you see messy, unkempt hair and circles under your eyes. You feel good, though. Procrastination may have gotten the best of you, but you get the last word. You are victorious.
Song Recommendation: “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles