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September 21, 2013

Teenhood Today: I'm working on putting off work

By Miriam Thurber
The Daily Star

---- — I’m not an expert at many things. But one subject I can claim absolute certainty in my skills would be that of procrastination. I was looking through my past columns to see if I had yet written about this topic and was shocked to find that I had not. I guess I just must have procrastinated about writing it.

To tell you the truth, I’m writing this at about 9:30 p.m. the day that it is due. Now, I’m usually not this bad. In fact, sometimes I even write the column early and then only have to worry about remembering to send them in. And on the exceedingly rare occasions where I find myself with a few extra minutes of free time, I type out an extra column to save for emergencies when I have no time to write one. 

Times like this. I know you’re all probably wondering why, then, am I not using my backup article? Well, that would be because this fantastic idea of procrastination was recommended to me. Yes, that’s correct. I was sitting in class, procrastinating about writing this, when I was suddenly struck with the realization that I needed to quickly punch out an column and send it in. The problem was that I had no idea what to write about. Thankfully, people were there to point out the obvious topic choice.

That’s the beauty of writing. All you really have to do is express what you’re feeling and thinking at the moment. Previous experience helps to create a compelling argument, and I’d consider myself to have had enough experience with procrastination to come up with some extremely valid points.

In case some of you haven’t noticed, I’ve been procrastinating about getting to my point.

Often, I don’t even realize that I am procrastinating. I plan on doing things and block off time to get them done. Those set-apart times, however, usually become filled with other projects, other requirements. It’s not that I mean to procrastinate; I just find myself without any time.

For little assignments, I’ve found that I try to put them off until the very last possible moment. A worksheet can swiftly be done right before bed or soon after I wake up in the morning.

Big projects, however, I almost always begin working on as soon as I find out about them. Most summers are accompanied by a stack of work rivaling the world’s largest bowl of salad. I don’t like salad. I don’t like summer homework. But I every year I set a target completion date for each and every part of the assignments. 

I try very hard to get all of the work done at the beginning of the summer so that I can truly enjoy the free time. The knowledge that there is work to be done tends to put a damper on the sunshine. But it’s the same for most major projects even if they aren’t due at the end of the summer. Presentations, reports, life-sized clay models of the Seven Wonders of the World — all are finished very early on. This is proof that I am working on my procrastination. Woohoo!

I think this is just one of those things that I just need to buckle down, set goals, and work at achieving deadlines. Procrastination is simply a bad habit, and that means it can be broken.

Miriam A. Thurber is a junior at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen

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