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April 21, 2012

Teen Talk: I'm becoming a pro at procrastination

There are a lot of dangerous things out there in the world, but of all of them, procrastination might be the worst. Why is that, you ask?

… Sorry, I got distracted. I was looking through my old Facebook pictures, and consequently deleting all of my old Facebook pictures. Trust me, middle-school-Adrian would thank me today. Where was I? Oh, right. Why procrastination is so dangerous.

For the answer, re-read the last eight sentences. It has become mildly impossible for me to sit down and actually finish a task that I've set for myself, in the amount of time I've set aside for it.

Yes, I am aware that I just wrote an column declaring how organized I had become in the past few months. I can see how counterproductive it is to turn this completely around and write about my severe dawdling habits. But I try to write about things that are taking place in my life, both to keep this column up-to-date, and so that in the future, I can look back and see what was going on in my life at the time of print (unfortunately, this has some drawbacks. Even if I wanted to, I can't exactly erase the fact that in my first year of college, I wrote a column proclaiming how much I love knitting …).

And at this point in my life, it just so happens that the most prominent issue in my life right now is my severe, crippling, abysmal, appalling, horrendous _ sorry, I'll stop looking up synonyms for "terrible" and figure out where I'm going with this sentence.

In short, my procrastination is bad.

If there's one thing I'm good at, it's pretending something doesn't exist.

I can convince myself into believing that my 10-page paper assignment has never made an appearance in my life, and especially that it's not due the next day. Of course I have time to watch three back-to-back episodes of "Animal Hoarders." Why wouldn't I?

Usually, this would be the point where I would come up with some sort of positive spin to put on procrastination. I would be "putting the 'pro' back in procrastination," like the pun my mother begged me to include in this column somewhere. But in all honesty, I couldn't come up with any. So I went to the next best source, the Internet.

There was this spot on Oprah on why procrastination was beneficial, which was great, but then I saw a link on the side to videos from Oprah's new show, "Oprah's Next Chapter." Did you know there's a video of Oprah walking across hot coals? Did you know there's one of Paula Deen teaching Oprah to fish? The idea of these images alone should be enough to make you drop everything and watch. Even after those videos were over, I actually took the time to watch the commercials at the end of the video. The extended commercials.

It's really not my fault. There are too many gems out there to distract me and tear my attention away from the things that matter. But then again, just like I always say (OK, so maybe I don't always say it, but I'm definitely starting now), it's all relative.

To you, watching 20 combined minutes of commercials might seem like the most extreme form of time-wasting. Or torture, depending on who you are.

But to me, a newly converted marketing major, it's actually interesting and makes me excited about the work I'm doing here at school and my future in these types of fields. And therefore, I have more motivation to get back to work and finish my paper for class. To an extent, procrastination can cease to be one of the biggest dangers to schoolwork and begin to be one of the best motivators out there.

There you go, Mom. I've put the "pro" back in procrastination! And yes, I finished my paper.

Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at Emerson College in Boston. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.

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