By Robyn Doolittle
In Grade 7, Ms. Symington told my class we’d never succeed unless we learned to finish our work in advance. In Grade 12, Mr. Fitch lectured that even if we’d danced through high school, cramming at the last minute, that kind of work ethic just wasn’t going to fly in university.
Then, sure enough, before graduating from Ryerson, more than one professor sternly explained that, “you may have been able to coast through your undergrad by pulling all-nighters before exams and essay due dates, but that kind of time management just isn’t going to work in grad school.”
Now, here I am, with a framed degree in the bottom of a box at my parent’s house, still completely unable to do anything before the last possible minute. After more than 10 years of successfully procrastinating my way through life, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’m never going to change; I’m a journalist for crying out loud. I’m supposed to work to deadline. And you know what? I’m okay with it.
And for everyone studying to be in another profession, you should be okay with it too. As an employer, who would you prefer to have on your team? A person who is able — nay, comfortable — to function and produce quality work when the pressure’s on, or someone who takes weeks, even months, to finish a project others are able to complete in just hours?
Given a choice, I’d hire the former.
And if you need more convincing to cross to the dark side, a newly released study out of Alberta reveals the vast majority of us young scholars are avid procrastinators.
Piers Steel, a University of Calgary professor, recently completed a 10-year long comprehensive analysis of previous studies regarding procrastination. In it, he found that 15-20 per cent of people procrastinate, while as many as 75 per cent of students regularly put things off.
Features editor Carla Wintersgill takes a closer look at this personally validating study — The Nature of Procrastination: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review of Quintessential Self-Regulatory Failure — on pages 8 and 9.
Steel even developed a mathematical formula relating to the issue, and if there’s anything I’ve learned during my education, it’s not to question anything relating to that particular subject.
Even now, with only hours until The Eyeopener is due at the printers, I find myself mindlessly clicking through YouTube and various celebrity gossip websites. Not that I haven’t watched “Dick in a Box” more than a dozen times, but it always provokes an interesting debate among section editors. Which Saturday Night Live sketch is funnier, “Dick in a Box,” or the Natalie Portman rap?
But we’re not alone. As stated on the University of Calgary website, “Procrastination and You,” the great Leonardo da Vinci was a renowned procrastinator.
Apparently, The Last Supper was only completed when the patron threatened to pull funding. Furthermore, the Mona Lisa took 20 years to finish. Either way, everyone enjoys the much-needed distraction from school and work.
And to date, the paper always seems to end up on the stands Wednesday morning. Sometimes there are a few more spelling mistakes than we’d like, but if anything is a time waster, it’s regret. So now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve left this editorial unprecedentedly late. But I’m not worried. I’ve been training my whole life for this.