Procrastination is, amongst other things, a succession of excuses that we tell ourselves to not feel guilty about not doing our homework right away. Perfectionism is, amongst other things, the obsessive desire to complete a task as perfectly as possible. Mix the two together, and the definitions are no longer as clear cut. I can have weeks to write a paper or get a project done, but I tell myself excuse after excuse until finally it is the day before the assignment is due. Then, I have a lot of work on my hands. However, my perfectionism eventually kicks in so that I spend as many hours as it takes to do my absolute best work on my paper or project, and I always feel satisfied with myself afterwards. It may seem like a blessing, being able to procrastinate but also having the motivation to put the effort in, but for anyone who is conflicted between being both a procrastinator and a perfectionist, we know the struggles.
1. Even after putting off an assignment for a whole week until the day before the due date, we are unable to just throw something together last minute.
Instead, we will spend as long as it takes, even all night if we have to, to get the assignment done to the absolute best of our abilities. We may slack off during the week, but once that deadline comes around, we mean serious business. Nothing less than our best efforts will be put into that assignment because “throwing something together” is not in our vocabularies.
2. It’s hard to enjoy day-to-day life when we know we should be getting a start on our assignment.
This is true for anyone that procrastinates, but if you’re a perfectionist on top of it, you’ll dread all the work you’ll undoubtedly put into the assignment eventually. Honestly, our version of procrastination is mostly just us living in denial because we know our obsessive behavior is only days away, and we need to ignore it for a while. Our sanity is at stake.
3. Speaking of obsessive behavior, it’s hard to count how many times we’ll tell ourselves “maybe this time I won’t be so obsessive with my work.”
Of course, we will. It’s nice to think that maybe our upcoming assignment will be different, but as we continue to watch Netflix and do anything to avoid starting our work, the reality kicks in. We know we won’t be able to stop it; it’s inevitable. The deadline will come around, and we’ll be busting our butts to do the work to our own high standards anyway.
4. Sleep is pretty much out of the picture.
Not always, but if we’re doing a week’s worth of work in a night and also still finding time to watch Netflix or hang out with friends (procrastination at its finest), that means something must be sacrificed. Unfortunately, it has to be sleep. Whoever said humans need eight hours of sleep a night never met a procrastinating perfectionist.
5. Somehow, we always underestimate how much time we will actually spend on an assignment.
I mean, yeah, we know we will have a ton of work to do after a week or more’s worth of procrastination, but somehow, we always underestimate ourselves. I don’t know how many times I’ve planned out the day before my assignment, thinking that I’m giving myself plenty of time to get it all done. Two hours past my original time frame, and I’m still hard at work. It’s like the longer we put off an assignment, the easier it is for us to forget about our own obsessive tendencies and how many hours we’ll need to complete satisfactory work to our own standards.
6. People don’t understand us.
To be fair, we don’t really understand our ways either, but other people might start to doubt us. A lot of people can understand procrastination, but not everyone believes that we can procrastinate and still pull off an assignment that we will be proud of. Procrastination does not have to equal sloppy work, and that can be said for anyone. Take it from us: it is possible to turn multiple days’ worth of procrastination into an assignment worthy of an A or at least worthy of your personal satisfaction.
7. We hate ourselves but also love ourselves at the same time.
I mean, come on, it’s pretty great that we can slack off yet put an insane amount of effort into our work, but that doesn’t mean we like the process. Whether we love it or hate it, we can all agree that conflicting emotions are the worst. However…
8. No matter how much we may hate our lack of motivation leading up to a deadline and the following obsessive behavior the day before the assignment, we wouldn’t change it.
It’s who we are, and as long as we have enough balance between procrastination and perfectionism, I think we’ll be just fine. Some people procrastinate, some people have their assignments done practically before they are even assigned and some of us are conflicted between the two. Do we have everything organized perfectly at all times? No, but you can be certain that our work will be completed on time and to the best of our abilities because that’s how we are. It just takes a little slacking off first.
As Hannah Montana put it, “You get the best of both worlds.” We “chill it out, take it slow” in the days leading up to the deadline, but then we “rock out the show” the day before and end up satisfied with ourselves, once again. A blessing, maybe, and a curse, probably, the best thing we can do is accept our conflicting personalities.
P.S. This article was written the day before the deadline but still got the same amount of effort and care as if I had written it weeks ago. What can I say, procrastination and perfectionism are kind of my things?
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