A Day in the Life of a Procrastinator

19 February 2012

I recently completed my first semester of college, and as it is in most cases, the semester concluded with finals week.

My worst enemy in the morning

While my study habits during the semester weren’t exactly the best, I had strong hopes that they would improve during finals week, with the stress of the impending tests bearing down on me and increasing my motivation.

Looking back on finals week now, I can now safely say that my production doesn’t reach its full potential until the game is on the line, much like that of Tim Tebow (sorry for making Tebow references in two straight articles).

Rather than let fellow procrastinators like myself continue to struggle with staying motivated, I decided to chronicle a typical Peter Bransfield finals week day of study as a guide for what NOT to do when preparing for an important test.

Let the games begin.

Tuesday, 1:00 AM – I set my alarm for 9:00 AM in order to get a jump on the day. I have high hopes for what should be a productive day tomorrow (technically today, if you want to be that guy).

9:00 AM – Hit snooze button.
9:07 AM – Snooze.
9:14 AM -Turn off alarm and promptly fall back asleep again.

10:17 AM – Begrudgingly roll out of bed and think to self about how I’ve wasted an hour already.

10:25 AM – Shower and come up with a game plan for the day ahead.

10:45 AM -Attempt to eat breakfast alone to avoid distractions, but instead end up sitting with two friends and having a long conversation.

11:30 AM – Head to the most depressing library on campus in hopes of avoiding distraction.
11:40 AM – Arrive at library and set up my laptop and notebooks. It’s go time.
11:41 AM – But first, check Facebook and Twitter.

11:51 AM – Freshly motivated by “Dom Mazzetti vs. Finals,” I press onward and look at a few Econ PowerPoint slides and take notes.

12:20 PM – Note that I’ve achieved almost a half hour of undistracted study, possibly a new personal best. Reward myself by going on Facebook.

12:35 PM – A few YouTube videos, a Grantland article, and that girl’s “Summer ‘11” album later, I realize I’m wasting time and return to studying.

12:40 PM – Temple Run.

-12:44 PM-

Text a couple friends to see if they’re down to get lunch later while reflecting that having my laptop is ironically detrimental to studying even though it contains the materials I need.

1:00 PM – Enjoy a nice lunch and plan on a location change to increase productivity.
1:40 PM – Head to the library with chairs that are extremely comfortable, perhaps, too comfortable.
1:45 PM – Resume studying, but pace decreases as I sink further and further into my comfortable chair.

-2:00 PM-

Wake from my brief slumber and try to remember the dream I had, which was definitely awesome. Text my friend about my dream and receive no response.

3:30 PM – After some fairly solid (kind of?) study time, I head to track practice in the hopes that some physical activity will energize me for the night ahead.

7:00 PM – At dinner I realize how tired I am from track practice.

7:30 PM – Head to a third different library that requires the longest walk so I can listen to my best motivational playlist.

Why I tend to work at the library rather than
in my room

7:45 PM – Upon arrival, I decide that Ace, Wayne, and Rozay telling me to hustle hard didn’t quite cut it, and open Spotify to listen to one more song. I choose “Make Me Proud,” but once Nicki’s verse begins I immediately become disgusted and spend the next few minutes contemplating my distaste for all things Nicki Minaj.

7:49 PM – Knowing my final isn’t the next day, I enter a false state of relaxation and check ESPN for a few minutes.

8:10 PM – Reluctantly look at PowerPoints again, thinking of how hard the test might be. I wistfully say out loud to nobody in particular how Econ is an easy subject that is taught in an unnecessarily complicated fashion.

8:55 PM – Studying becomes increasingly inefficient (as though it was efficient before) as college basketball scores pour in and there are a number of close games.

9:15 PM – More Temple Run.

9:30 PM – Fatigue begins to set in, so I make a run to the vending machine and procure some Cool Ranch Doritos and two Cokes.
9:35 PM – Receive angry stares from the rest of the library as I open said Doritos and soda a little too loudly.

9:45 PM – Decide to listen to ‘90s playlist to create a nice ambience while studying. Forget to plug in headphones and receive more stares from the library patrons as Crash Test Dummies blares loudly from my laptop.

-10:00 PM- 

Tweet and post a Facebook status complaining about studying for finals even though literally everyone else at my school also has finals and has to study, too. Gain 10-12 Likes regardless.

12:00 PM – Debate the opportunity cost of sleeping vs. continuing to study.

1:00 AM, Wednesday….After another hour of studying with frequent Facebook and Twitter even though everyone is asleep and nobody is posting anything, I decide to return to my dorm at 2:00 when the library closes. Let the countdown begin.

1:10 AM – As I get more and more tired I begin to wish that my power level was over 9000.
1:15 AM – Set a Temple Run high score.

1:35 AM – Attempt to finish one more PowerPoint before 2:00.
1:55 AM – Realize my attempts are futile and pack my belongings.

2:00 AM – Doggedly trudge back to my room and tweet about how productive I’ll be tomorrow.
2:10 AM – Browse Internet even though I’m really tired and should be sleeping. But then again, Leeroy Jenkins is just as funny at any time of the night.

2:15 AM – Set alarm for 9:00 and smile about how tomorrow will work out so much better.

For more honest insight, check out these posts:
When Your Time Slips Away
Internship Interview

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