When I wait until the last minute to complete an assignment, I am obviously not putting my best work forward. In most cases, I simply consider myself fortunate if I manage to get an answer to all of the problems or enough pages typed out. If the paper actually manages to meet all of the requirements or the answers are correct, it’s a bonus. If I did the work right after it was assigned, though, I would have time to look over my work before handing it in and prevent stupid mistakes or make significant improvements.
The quality of my work suffers as much from a lack of time to work on it as it does from the fact that I am working in panic. When I have an hour to complete a 5 page paper, all I can think about is how to get as many words on the page as possible. When I have an evening to try to finish it but could work on it tomorrow or any of the next 5 days, I feel more relaxed and can make sure it matches the requirements. At the same time, the stress I feel in the rest of my life would not be as great because I would not have this project always on my mind.
My procrastination has also had a negative effect on my life by making it much more difficult for me to fulfill my obligations and desires. To keep my financial aid that enables me to attend school, I need to maintain a certain grade. When I put my work off until the last minute, my grades suffer and it becomes much more difficult to keep the money coming. It is also difficult for me to stop work to help out a friend if I need to get something done in the next hour because I spent the last five days playing so I start looking like a jerk.
Examining my tendency to procrastinate has revealed to me the many different negative effects this has on my life. I do what I want right now when I procrastinate, but I won’t be able to do what I want long term, which is graduate from college if I don’t keep my grades up. Procrastination also makes me stress all the time about something I might