By Alexa Sklar (’18)

It’s the night before an exam.  It’s a rather an important exam, worth 15% of your semester grade.  You knew about this particular exam weeks in advance but you were totally busy and had no time whatsoever to study.  I mean, who would?  A new season of Orange is the New Black was just released.

Do you have any goals?  Responsibilities?  Opportunities to improve the quality of your life?  Well right here in this essay, you’re going to acquire the skills you need to put them off for as long as possible, preferably until the last minute.  This, my friends, is called procrastination, and its truly an art form.  Even the most determined, hard-working minds can set aside their ambitions and simply leave them to later.  Just by reading this essay you’ve taken a step in the right direction because I’m sure there’s something more important you could be doing right now!  So give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy.

Still not quite sure what procrastination is?  Here’s another example: your project is due in 20 minutes.  All you’ve written is the title and your name.  You’re still iffy about the title and you’re considering a topic change.  However, you’re finally about to beat your high score in this really cool game.  Five more minutes won’t hurt.

Now, how does one become good at procrastination, you ask?  I’ll tell you later.

That, my fellow lazy dawdlers, was step number one.  If there’s one piece of advice I could give you, it’s: “Just leave it to later.  If you’re lucky, later never comes.”  That way, you can avoid the task altogether.  Later can be any time that isn’t now.  Here’s a technique I like to use;  set yourself a time limit, like “I’ll start at 8:00.”  Tell yourself you’re truly going to start at 8:00, no excuses.   However, when 8:00 does roll around, (this part is very key) you must cancel your plans and postpone them to a later date.  Just keep doing this.  Another technique I particularly enjoy is one I like to call the “Too Late!”  Again, set yourself a time limit like 8:00.  When you check the clock and it’s a different time, 8:01 for example, you must wait until later to start your work.  It’s too late now.  Don’t worry, once you get started you’ll get the hang of it.  Hopefully it’ll soon become a habit to you and you can start doing it mindlessly!

Step number two:  Lack any and all motivation and interest.  It’s important to find the subject of whatever task you must do to be utterly boring and useless.  So begin to dissect the assignment and find everything you dislike about it.  If in the rare case it’s a topic you’re interested in, think about how much you loathe work and would rather be sleeping right now.  That one always does the trick.  It’s just so much easier to not do work.  There are so many other things you could do.  Unless of course, there are other things you have to do.  Those are off-limits.  Remember your mission; to avoid mandatory tasks at all costs.

Still not convinced?  Here’s another example: You receive a phone call from your friend.  Apparently, there’s a job opening at her office in a field you’re interested in.  She says you have a really good chance of getting it, and should apply right away.  You totally meant to, except this call took place a year ago and they’ve already replaced the employee.  Oops.

Step three:  Think of all the other things you can do instead that are so much more important and will definitely benefit society such as drawing a face on your stomach, naming it Frank and reenacting a scene from the Titanic in which Frank plays the role of Rose.  Keep reminding yourself that this is a much better use of your time.

Step four:  Ignore your hopes and dreams of life and begin the spiral into depression.  This is my favorite step.  All you have to do is remind yourself that no matter how simple a task may seem, it’s utterly pointless and won’t do anything to change the fact that our world is slowly deteriorating.  Think about how not doing your history project is so much better than murdering someone, which many people do every day.  Begin to contemplate life and our purpose on this earth in the first place.  Certainly it isn’t to spend our days doing work.  Also, while doing this, remember how small you are as a human being and how little an impact you will make in your life.  This well definitely help with the whole “spiral into depression part”.

If all fails, think about the fact that this world has allowed Donald Trump to succeed.

Doesn’t procrastination sound wonderful and not at all life-ruining?  Don’t forget to incorporate the four steps into your every day life and you too can become a master procrastinator.