QUICKLY! What to do after Procrastinating?
By Kero Kamel and Krishna Pendyala
“The passer takes a step back as the snap comes in hot. He eyes up #19 as the wide receiver runs his route down the field, creating space between him and the defender covering him. The passer hurls it down the field and the pass iiiiiiiiiissssss CAUGHT by #19!…”
“YEAH GETTEM JUJU RUN THAT BALL”
“His defender attempts a tackle, but OHH #19 SHAKES HIM OFF”
“RUN BABY BRING IT HOME COME ON NOW”
“He runs and he runs and OHH THERE’S NO STOPPING HIM NOW! TOUCHDOWWWWWN!!!”
“YEAAAA BOIIIIIIIII THAT’S WHAT WE LIKE TO SEE BLESS UP”
Your friend rooting for the other team- “…expletive”
(Unfortunately, that’s not what happened in the last game against the Ravens) 🙁
We often find ourselves in situations like this. Whether you and your crew’s night looks like this, looks something a little different, or if life just happens, it all goes the same. After you’re done partying the night away, the realization hits you like an 18-wheeler: “Sh!t I forgot to do my work!”
Oops! What Now?
So you’ve run out of time and you’re unprepared. You didn’t do the work you were supposed to do. This kind of thing happens all too frequently, but it’s important not to get too down on yourself for it. It’s part of what makes us human.
According to Dr. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, around 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators. If the word “chronic” was removed from this study, the statistic may be closer to 100%.
What you do now, however, can be the difference between crisis aversion at school or at work and long-term damage.
There are actually a few ways you can bounce back from this depending on exactly how much time you do have.
If you’ve got plenty of time
Come back to this article after you’ve procrastinated some more and you have less time.
Wait just kidding! Here’s some things you can do:
- Take preemptive action if you can
- Do a bit of work and send a progress report to indicate that you’ve done at least ~some work.
- Ask for a new deadline.
- You might even get lucky and be offered more time after your boss sees that you’re making progress.
- Don’t book it on Friday
- Chances are you aren’t setting yourself up for a smooth transition back to work whenever you come back.
If you’re in deep crunch time
Here are some tips to help you maximize the few moments you have left:
- Don’t panic!
- This won’t get you anywhere. You already know that.
- Seek out a good spot
- Location is a major key! If you can isolate yourself, then it’ll make it easier to isolate only the important thoughts in your mind from other distracting thoughts (that includes SHHing your cell phone of course!). This will help you focus.
- Make a quick plan
- You probably can’t get through everything you would like to, but that’s okay. Instead of working right away from the beginning and realizing later that your time would have been better spent working on other things, plan out the most important things you need to do and do those first.
- This is definitely the hardest part. You got this!
If you’re out of time
Try these if you literally have no time left:
- If someone needs something from you immediately, tell them you’re unprepared without excuses.
- Don’t dwell on it in the moment. People will move on quickly and the sting will be short-lived.
- If someone needs something from you in a few minutes, pull them aside before they get to you and tell them you’re unprepared with your excuse (if you have one).
- Sometimes life happens, and more than likely the person you’re talking to has been in your shoes. Be proactive.
- Change the topic
- Use your judgment on this one. It’s usually not difficult to pick up whenever people try doing this.
What’s really going on? The conspirators behind procrastination
Overcoming procrastination is not an easy challenge. Procrastination is extremely tempting because it feeds two powerful forces that evolved to insure the survival of our species—our need to feed ourselves and avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
These forces can be labeled as the PIG—our desire to Pursue Instant Gratification and the APE—our natural tendency to Avoid Painful Experiences. These labels help us to notice these characters as they lure us away from our intentions. Once we realize that we are being taken for a ride, it becomes easier for us to get back on track.
The dynamics during procrastination unfortunately feed the PIG by doing something that we enjoy while satisfying the APE by avoiding something that we don’t enjoy at the same time.
Case in point: would you rather watch the game or do your homework?
If you’d like to get to know how to tame your PIG and APE, check out Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing SUCCESS and true HAPPINESS.
Up Next: Are We All Just Pavlovian Dogs?