I've always been a master procrastinator, but now that I'm in grad school, it's reached a dangerous level. In undergrad, it's fairly easy to get away with procrastinating - your assignments are shorter and teachers aren't looking for the depth of knowledge and understanding that they expect at the graduate level, and that only comes with investing hours and hours and hours into your readings and assignments. I try not to procrastinate, but honestly, unless I wait until the last minute to do something, I usually end up wasting a lot of time doing anything except study during the time I set aside for studying. Here's what usually ends up happening during my "study" sessions:
1. Get to campus and set up my supplies - books, pens, highlighters, laptop, water, coffee/tea, snacks, articles, etc.
2. Get on the internet to do "research" - also known as, check facebook, catch up on blogroll, send emails, check other blogs not on blogroll.
3. Realize that the noise I'm hearing is the printer - turn on Spotify. Play around on Spotify for 5-10 minutes trying to find the perfect study music for the mood I'm in (country usually ends up fitting the bill).
4. Log onto library and conduct search for articles (this takes about 5 minutes).
5. Remember that I need to respond to a friend's text. While on phone, also send texts to about 5 other friends.
6. Look at search results and realize nothing there is helpful. Conduct 5 more searches, which turn up a total of 2 helpful articles.
7. Email articles to self to print later.
8. Watch an episode of a TV show on Hulu or Netflix.
9. Finally start on actual project. Go home after an hour or two because I'm too tired to keep working and need a nap.
However, here's what happens when I wait until the last minute to do something:
1. Get to campus and quickly set up work station.
2. Start typing frantically.
3. Finish assignment, proofread, print, and head to class to turn it in.
The wait-til-the-last-minute method is a LOT more efficient but it always leaves me incredibly stressed out and I realize that if I discipline myself to remain focused during my non-procrastinating study sessions, my life would be much improved AND I would no longer have to worry about last-minute things coming up and preventing me from finishing my assignments on time.
Ironically, I'm writing this post while I should be finishing up an annotated bibliography that's due this afternoon.