What I Wish I Knew in College: Time Management 3 of 5

What I Wish I Knew in College: Time Management 3 of 5

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Procrastination

Procrastination is a familiar word that many have accepted as fact. Some even wear it as a badge of courage. They state that their best work is performed under the gun of a deadline. I know students who bragged about completing a term paper in one evening and receiving stellar grades. I would argue that the grade was not the point, but I have lost that argument more times than I am comfortable admitting. In fact, I admit uncomfortably, I have never won that argument. But (I digress), procrastination is a fancy way of describing your inability to work through a mental block.

Procrastination may also indicate a lack of competence in the process of product development. This incompetence, beyond all other deficiencies, will be the ruin of procrastinators. At some point, grades will fall away and be replaced with performance measures that leverage competence. Moreover, those last-minute binges are incompatible with team efforts. The whole house of cards will fall if the competence is not addressed.

A solution does exist. Consider how procrastination works. You sit contemplating what you should be doing, while feeling the guilt of what you’re currently doing, while exhausting yourself in the emotion. This is the reason that you can procrastinate and still feel so completely exhausted after accomplishing nothing. Most would conclude that’s the problem here is the fact that you’re not working. But, that’s not the most important revelation.

The real problem here is that you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. Each moment, each activity, each moment is yours to enjoy. This enjoyment translates into intrinsic motivation to seek after continued peak experiences. This joy is inspiration that fuels your next investment of time. Instead of being fueled, you’re being exhausted. And that is the central problem. In other words, the waste of time isn’t the actual time used. The waste of time is the fact that the time spent was exhausting.

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