Procrastination is a superpower


Michael Benedian, Editor-in-Chief

When it comes to videogames, most people can finish one from start to end with no issues. For me however, I can easily start a playthrough but rarely do I ever see the end credits. It’s not just games that I do this, but also movies, tv shows, books and everything in between.

It’s a habit I built over the years and it’s become an inside joke in my friend group that I just don’t finish anything. Many could see this as a problem, but to me I think that it’s perfectly fine. Procrastinating is my superpower and it works for me and chances are it’ll work for you too.

The reason I’m writing about procrastination is because I recently got sick and it gave me a lot of freetime, more than I usually have. Most days I’m swamped with errands like cooking and being everyone’s personal uber driver since I am the only other driver in my family. This time, I was left to recover and so I took advantage of this to go through my backlog of games that I never finished.

I booted up “Death Stranding,” a game I started back in May of this year but haven’t played since then. After almost 10 minutes of trying to figure out what I was doing and relearning the controls, I started playing thinking that I would get off after five minutes and switch to do something else. Instead, I ended up being sucked back into this world and being lost for hours on end.

As I was enjoying my free time however, there was a certain guilt that many students know exactly what I’m talking about that I was experiencing; the guilt of not doing an assignment. I had to write this opinion article but couldn’t think of a subject to tackle. I sat on different topics while I continued to try and enjoy my freetime and then I had that moment of inspiration and began to write.

As a huge procrastinator, it was common for me to do something like this; I would work on an assignment for 10 minutes and then take a three hour break before continuing and repeating the cycle. Even as I write this I’m doing exactly what I said. However, each time I took a break I was putting the task in the back of my head and coming up with ideas subconsciously. 

The way I imagine it is like a whiteboard and on it in big red writing is the task I’m procrastinating. Anytime I think about the task it’s like I’m walking by the whiteboard and any idea I happen to come up with is like me writing on a sticky note and then placing it on the board. I keep on pacing by the whiteboard until it fills with sticky notes, at which point I go through the sticky notes and see what ideas stuck and what ideas didn’t.

You could say what I’m describing is hogwash and really just the placebo effect, but for me it actually works. I learned that if I procrastinated on things I became not only more motivated to finish them but sometimes I would take an idea and go a completely different path than I thought. To prove that point, this article was originally about making video games shorter to finish. 

Now you could be the type that starts an assignment or task and finishes it the same day and if you are, good for you. In fact, for some people the effects of procrastination can cause them to completely abandon tasks and not once feel that guilt. From my personal experience, I seem to work a lot better with the panic, guilt and pressure than if I tried to work with no stress at all.

The next time you ever face a tough task, consider putting that on the backburner and using the whiteboard mind palace. It could work out for you, but just keep in mind, “with great power comes great responsibility.”