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Procrastination. This word and I have been really good friends for years now. When I decided to write about the wonders of procrastination would you like to take a wild guess as to how many times I attempted to sit down and write this? About four to five separate occasions.

Since the beginning of time I have been an expert at procrastinating. It started in high school when I took the majority of my classes in the International Baccalaureate program (IB) … ok I am back now! I left that for a good ten minutes. Ha. Case in point, right?

Where was I? Oh yes, the IB program. It is essentially the same as AP classes, only it is international. For example, the world history exam I take on any given day of the week -- let’s say Tuesday -- will also be given to students in South Africa the same day at the same time. It was quite exciting to have the chance to take these types of classes. However, with rigorous coursework comes an intense amount of homework. And that is where my procrastination set in.

I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed I tend to do nothing. So you can imagine what happened when I would be bombarded with loads to read and write and review each night? Yes, chaos. When it would get down to the very last minute, I would finally find the energy and will to start working. And I must say, I have produced some of my best work as a result from procrastination. It is as if the feelings of pressure somehow evoke clarity of thought and articulation and motivation start to awaken from their respective slumbers.

Before I was about to graduate, I would like to say that I had retired my old, often stressful work habits. But that would be a lie. If anything, I had just gotten better at it. I had definitely learned tactics for coping with my way of studying. This could be anywhere from giving myself little rewards when I read 10 pages or a phone call to a friend between each article that I have to read. You see? It is all about baby steps.

I am not saying here, “Yes, procrastinate, and don’t try to be better than last minute!” What I am essentially getting at through all of this wordiness and rambled phrasing is this: you are not alone. Next time you are stuck on the last paragraph of a paper, or fixating on a section of your weekly report for work, or sending your resume, think of my strategy and me. And then go grab a glass of milk (or juice, or water, or soy?) and chocolate or a pretzel (or whatever, really), stretch your arms, call your neighbor, aunt or friend, and sit back down, take a deep breath and begin again. I guarantee you that you may have found some sense of clarity in that period of time. Annnd, repeat, over and over again.    


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