“The pain of wasted time is much greater than the pain of discipline.” It’s true. But as illogical beings, we pay no heed to the crisis that awaits us at the end of our wasted time. Some call it laziness. No no, it’s not just that we’re lazy. It’s that we don’t fear when we have time. Until we don’t. The only thing that pushes us beyond that gap of ‘having time’ to ‘not having time’ is the deadline, the proof that time has come for us.

It’s bold of me to assume that we are procrastinators. Maybe you empathize or hate the fact I grouped you in with the likes of me, a filthy procrastinator. If you’d rather not be tied up with people who do their work last second, let’s not be close friends. It’s for your own good.

But I hope that you’ll be like me, not because I wish for your downfall but because I want to establish common ground. And I pray you hate procrastination as well. Because even while procrastinating, you’ll keep doing it, knowing it will impact your future either in a few hours, days or, hopefully not, months. You keep procrastinating knowing that it only hurts you. And maybe, if you’re like me, that deadline isn’t as scary as you’d like. So maybe you never stop procrastinating…

Yes, I’m projecting. Expecting and hoping that you’re like me, so that I feel I’m not the only one. In fact, I know I’m not the only one, and maybe that’s why it’s okay to assume that you, my dear reader, are like me. A filthy procrastinator.

And no amount of reflecting, writing, talking, reading, or realizing will fix it without a strong desire to do so. I regrettably must admit that I’m not strong enough to stop this vile habit. However, I’m strong enough to attempt to meet at a midpoint between wasting time and doing what I need to do (it leans more to the ‘wasting time’ side, so it’s probably insufficient as a compromise). I’ve found a tactic that works for me, and I hope it works for you as well.

You procrastinate by getting ahead on something else. If you urgently need to finish this homework due in two days, why not work on a project due in two weeks? If you urgently need to sleep for a test in 10 hours, why not work on your blog (definitely not happening right now…)? The reason it works is because you feel like you’re getting away with procrastination (that feeling is like a high). And you can’t feel guilty as you remind yourself you’re working on something you would eventually procrastinate, so you really are getting ahead. Wow!

Maybe the thing you’re procrastinating on should take priority, and after you suffer the consequences, you’ll regret what you’ve done. But you finished that assignment rather than doing nothing. You wrote another piece rather than consuming entertainment. This way, procrastinating ain’t so bad. And this way, that pain of wasting time is only slightly greater than the pain of discipline.