Procrastination feeds on my fears and tempts me to avoid my work.
A Conversation with Procrastination
Oh. That's not a very good opening line. This will set the pace for your whole paper and you pick that?
"It's just a rough draft."
Still... Maybe you should take a small break. Come back to it with a fresh mind. This paper is worth a third of your grade, after all. It has to be perfect!
"You're wrong. It won't be perfect. There will always be mistakes but that's okay. All we can really do is try. This is me trying."
But, what will they think when they read your paper? It's going to be so bad. They'll hate it. They'll think you're a fool! Just STOP! Do you want them to see this! And what about everything else you need to get done! You have to do the laundry and go to the store. Don't forget about the dishes! Oh! And you haven't even had a proper meal. A muffin is not a real breakfast! Plus it's almost lunch time.
"But this paper, I have to get it done."
You'll never get it all done. It's hopeless. You're failing!
"There's too much. I can't do this."
Take a break. Watch a funny video. You'll feel so much better.
Just one more.
"It does help me feel a little better, But now I'm not getting anything done. I should be working. I need to get this paper done."
Look at the clock! You've wasted so much time. You'll never get it all done now. You've wasted this day! You're a failure!
"I feel awful. Why did I listen to you? Now I'm not getting anything done. And there is so much to do!"
Just watch one more video. And then you can get started. You're too upset right now.
Just one more.
"I need to work."
You've wasted this day. Just start your work tomorrow.
"No." I breathe deeply. "I still have time. I can start today."
You're not good enough. You're paper will never be good enough.
"I am good enough. And I will do my best. Any mistakes I make, I will learn from. We all make mistakes. We all fail occasionally. That's okay. It's okay to fail. It's okay if this paper turns out badly.This paper does not define me. I'm just going to try my best and have fun with it."
You're too lazy. Everyone else is much more productive.
"We all have flaws. That's just life. Mine do not make me any less of a person. You do not define me. And I will not compare myself to others. I am my own person. I have my own weaknesses but I also have my own strengths."
You will never be rid of me. You're not strong enough to resist my temptations.
"I am stronger than I realise. You are right, though. I will never be rid of you completely. Even the most productive people struggle with procrastination occasionally. But, in truth, I don't want to get rid of you altogether."
I'm confused. I thought you hated me.
"I did. But you are a part of me. It's like hating myself. The guilt I felt over you would lead me into this downward spiral of negativity. I'm willing to accept you as a part of myself. Plus, I think that you do help in small doses. Every once in awhile it's important to take a break, set aside work, and live in the moment."
"But today, I'm going to start on my paper. I'll just write one sentence at a time."
"Just one more."