How to Procrastinate and Succeed Doing It (Humor)


Ammie Wang

Don’t procrastinate or you’ll start to fall behind.  Once you fall behind, your grades slip.  Once your grades slip, you lose sight of graduation.  Once you lose sight of graduation, you lose hope for employment. BAM – fast forward twenty years – you’re wrestling yesterday’s stale bagels out of the greedy paws of a raccoon with whom you cohabitate the dumpster behind a restaurant deemed “satisfactorily sanitary” by the health department. Not a good look. You already know the details.

Such is the age-old tale of the procrastinator as told by perhaps every parent and teacher from here to the fictional universe of Freaks and Geeks.  They’ll all tell you that saving homework for the last minute is a one-way street straight to failure – they might even pull up the latest Faux News report about the indisputably-proven correlation between student procrastination and future unemployment and substance abuse and spontaneous combustion, After School Special-style scaring you into staying away from the sin of procrastination. Naturally, I’m here to undo all of that.

In truth, you too can validate the terrible life choice of procrastination by being what many do-nothing-ers call a ‘high-functioning procrastinator.’ It’s a tough business; there are countless procrastinators, but only a few can come out on top.  In order to succeed, you’re going to have to fulfill a number of prerequisites:

  1. Be driven (by the fear of failure).
  2. Care too much, but also not enough.
  3. Simultaneously have no sense of self-worth and too much pride.
  4. Desire success, but detest the effort.
  5. Exhibit basic competency and literacy.

If you’re not doing at least three of these (or five), it’s probably best to quit now. Experts agree that the high-functioning procrastinator inhabits a hellish limbo between intensely painful motivation and thoroughly intoxicating laziness. This ideal “Goldilocks zone” lies where one cares about validation of grades and academic success far too much, yet cannot be bothered to do anything about it.  

For the high-functioning procrastinator, as the 11:59 p.m. Turnitin deadline inches closer, those last twenty minutes become a Twilight Zone of sorts for miracles which defy the laws of existence. I’ve seen assignments completed at the speed of light, entire 2000 word research essays written, edited, and slammed in the turn-in box in a single class period, and homework assignments started and finished entirely within the five-minute passing period. Success doesn’t have to be prolonged blood, sweat, and tears – rather, it can just be naps and avoidance capped off by last-minute anxiety attacks and momentary hyperdrive productivity.

Of course, this isn’t to say I don’t understand the protests against this lifestyle.  Am I saying this is the best option?  Absolutely not. But it is possible.  If putting in the effort is a Louis Vuitton bag, high-functioning procrastinating is the online “Loowis Vuton” knockoff made of cardboard and horse glue: technically speaking, it’s not authentic, but it will get the job done. Translation: you won’t learn the content, but you’ll pass the class, maybe even with an A or B. 

I’d like to clarify before my character assassination begins: I don’t necessarily discourage working hard, I just encourage the opposite.  If you’re a high achiever by birth, by all means, continue. We genuinely applaud you, and you’re what we all strive to be. However, this is for all us plebes who just can’t get ourselves to do it.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to finally turn this in to the editor – you’ll never believe how long I waited to start.