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The Temptation of Later vs. the Advantages of Now

The Temptation of Later vs. the Advantages of Now Cecilia Lu Web Editor Way too often, I find myself leaving everything that needs to be done until the very last minute, and I think I can safely say that I’m not the only one who has been in this type of situation. I will often start to write an essay the day before it is due, or study for a test minutes- seconds even- before walking into that class. I constantly ask myself, “why?” Why do I keep tormenting myself by shirking off my responsibilities, until eventually all the bottled up stress and guilt cause me to force myself to face what I have to do, and actually do it?

This seems to be a common problem among, well, almost everyone. Without making generalizations, it seems that many people have to deal with the issue of procrastination. For me, this occurs because it is so much easier to push things off for later than to do them at the moment. However, I’ve come to learn that having to endure the consequences of procrastination is far more painful than simply doing what I have to do in a timely manner.

When people put things off for later, it allows them to feel a temporary feeling of relief, since they can avoid thinking about their responsibilities for the moment. However, these feelings are fleeting, since responsibilities obviously cannot be avoided forever. When the time comes that these certain duties have to be met, it causes the procrastinator to be bombarded by feelings of overwhelming stress. In contrast, if people were to do things as soon as possible, then they would be so much more efficient in everything they do. Think about all of the time wasted solely on worrying because of procrastination. Now combine this with the mass amounts of time spent thinking about what one should be doing at the moment, but not actually doing. All of this wasted time could be spent doing something productive, had the procrastination not occurred in the first place.

Even though procrastinating is the easy route to take, it causes so many troubles – stress, sleep deprivation, decline in quality etc. The negatives clearly outweigh the positives, yet it is still a constant struggle to do things in the present, and to procrastinate less. Even though it can be easy to give in and tell yourself that you’ll “do it later,” try to remember the consequences of what happened the last time you were in a similar situation. Also remind yourself that, since in the end you will have to carry out your duties one way or the other, you might as well get it done now and be stress-free later.