- The Controversial Opinion Series -
Disclaimer: None of these are scientifically proven to be correct. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, or like a full bowl of salt.
Why Procrastination is Good for You (or at least, good for you in high school)
Teachers are shaking as they see the title. They must be thinking “No way! Get this garbage article off my feed.” According to them, procrastination is the prime cause (or effect?) of laziness. It directly contributes to lower grades and inefficiency.
Well… it can be true in some way. However, as a non-procrastinator, my ‘good’ work habits have unfortunately plagued my grades and if I can restart high school again, I would undoubtedly choose to procrastinate.
Let’s say there’s a task due next week, let’s say it’s an English essay.
For me, I start working on it right after it was assigned. That gives me 7 days times probably 1 or 2 hours a day to work on it, easy stuff. That’s already around 10 hours spent. Let’s boost it up a bit more. As a perfectionist, I spent around 30 minutes per day thinking about how to improve on my essay, and googling some secondary sources that are ‘better’ than the ones I have before. That’s 3.5 hours doubting myself. Total ~ 13.5 hours spent
For a procrastinator, the assignment does not exist until the day before it’s due. This person has a ton of stress, but he works at maximum efficiency. he starts at 10 pm and manages to get it done by 3 am. Total ~ 5 hours spent
Hey, you might say: Well, the non-procrastinator’s essay must be way better than the other guy! Right? Ummm….. yes, a little bit, but not really. The 3 extra hours trying to find better sources? The teacher does not see it as better, because she has never seen the previous source before, there’s no comparison → there’s just this OK one right here right now. I guess it could be better in your head, but it’s not in her head. Both are OK, 7.5/10. The one written by the procrastinator might have more spelling mistakes or careless errors, but is 1 mark really worth your 6 extra hours of your time? (There are many instances in my high school life that this has happened between me and my friends and our marks literally turn out the same.) Now, onto the next point…
2. It preps you better for exams
Exams are the most stressful thing ever. They are usually worth 30% of the total mark. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to NOT finish your exam in time, YOU ARE SCREWED! Well, it happened to me before, and I blame it on not procrastinating. If we go back to the previous scenario, your procrastinator friend is well-prepped for exams. Why? Every time he finishes up his essay within 6 hours (in a sleepy, depressed and anxious state), he is training for an exam. And every time he does that, he becomes faster at writing, faster at being decisive, and faster at writing better essays. Being a non-procrastinator, I have to compress my 13.5 hours of average essay writing time into 2 hours, and that’s almost impossible. On the other hand, none of my procrastinator friends have trouble writing a 2-hour essay! If we apply the same principles to other subjects such as Biology, you might not see the effect as distinctly shown. However, as you push back studying to the last minute, you are more equipped to cramming information into your brain within a short period of time. We only have 24 hours a day for around 4 courses. In university, we still have 24 hours a day but you will have even more courses. The shortened amount of time you use for studying will become a very very valuable skill.
3. The school favours the procrastinators
Ok, maybe not like your teachers will like you because you procrastinate, but being a procrastinator will give you more advantages. Since the entire class is procrastinators, the teachers will realize that you guys will need more time to do the assignment AND extend the deadline. Ever had a time when the teacher suddenly gives you more tips and directions as it gets closer to the deadline? Yes, it happened to me way too many times. Now, besides having wasted like 5 hours, I need more time to rethink the topics and start to write in the direction that my teachers wanted. If I was a procrastinator, I do not even have to worry about those.
4. You will have more time for something else
The time you saved from procrastination can be used in many different ways: hanging out with your friends, reading, developing a hobby… IDK. But the point is, you will have more time on other stuff!
The bottom line is, procrastinate in the right times CAN improve your skills BUT in the wrong times, for the wrong tasks, this can have a negative effect on you. In high school, make the most of your time doing stuff other than academics to sharpen your learning skills. In university, well, I am not in university yet, but I am sure there will be more workload and studying → at that time, you will have to procrastinate less but the skills you gained (from procrastinating) will come in handy.