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Why [not] procrastinate?

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Why [not] procrastinate?

Olivia Madderom, Editor-in-Chief

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It’s the better part of 10 p.m. A paper’s due tomorrow. Not to mention, it’s only Tuesday, so you have a long rest of the week and can’t pretend to be sick again. A long sigh, your hands run through your hair. You reach for something sugary and caffeinated. And yet…..

It’s not actually that bad. The sugar keeps you up, a good portion of your friends are doing the same thing, and you’re listening to a great playlist. This is when you’re young. This is when you aren’t falling into bed with a sore back. If you’re ever going to procrastinate, it’s now.

Teachers warn against procrastinating because the work is less than your absolute best, it’s unhealthy and (oh, the dreaded word) lazy.

“Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing,” Dr. John Perry, a philosopher at Stanford, noted in his book, “The Art of Procrastination”.

In a recent survey of over 24,000 people, 95 percent admitted to occasionally procrastinating. About 25 percent admitted to chronic procrastination which is 5 times as many as in the 1970s. Blame it on social media, the Internet, cell phones, or whatever, but the population of people who powerhouse their work the night before it’s due is growing steadily.

University of San Diego professor Frank Partnoy writes in his book, “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” that last minute decision-making is beneficial to the individual. Having self-diagnosed himself as a procrastinator since elementary, Partony made it through college and law school procrastinating.

“When I went to work at Morgan Stanley [law firm], I was delighted to find that, although the pace of the trading floor is frenetic and people are very fast, there were lots of incredibly successful mentors of procrastination.” Partony said. “As an academic, procrastination is practically a job requirement.”

But what about all those haters on procrastination? The the teachers that hand out extra credit to students who turn in things early, the general trend to get more done in less time.

“Historically, for human beings, procrastination has not been regarded as a bad thing. The Greeks and Romans generally regarded procrastination very highly,” Partnoy said. “The wisest leaders embraced procrastination and would basically sit around and think and not do anything unless they absolutely had to.”

So why not procrastinate? Go ahead and wait for the last minute to get everything done. As long as the work gets finished, you can make up the sleep later.

Sources used:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/science/positive-procrastination-not-an-oxymoron.html?_r=0

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-procrastination-is-good-for-you-2102008/?no-ist

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