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… at procrastinating.  Really, I am.  You don’t believe me?  Well, have you ever waited until the day before a 12 page paper is due to start writing?  Maybe.  Have you ever stayed up all night before a project is due, not to work on it, but to play winterbells, and then started the actual project at 6:30 am when school starts at 7:25?  Probably not.  You’re not THAT dumb or self-deprecating.  But I am.  Why? Because to me, procrastinating is just a challenge.  How fast can I do less (but still better quality) work than my peers and still get an A? Because I do get As – that high school project, a 20 minute powerpoint presentation on habits (ironic?), earned me a 96%.  Little did the teacher know that I had spent less than one REM cycle, less time than Lilly spends in the shower, and less time than I am in her class to complete the project.

When I was in the 9th grade, my computer crashed at 1am the night before my huge, school wide science project was due.  This was my first major instance of procrastination – I had done the experiment, but none of the writing work.  I began at 10pm and 3 hours in lost all of my work.  No matter.  I spent the next six hours furiously writing a 25 page portfolio and creating a trifold presentation board.  I won first prize, as a freshman, out of over 1,000 participants.  I found a new talent.

Right now you are thinking,  “Natalie is an AWFUL PERSON. Who does that?”  It’s true, I am terrible, self-obsessed, and arrogant.  But I have been reinforced in this habit time and again, and it has helped me to acquire a very specific skill set.

1. I work extremely well under pressure, obviously.  In fact, I seem to have lost the ability to work if there isn’t pressure.  Pressure equals about 1 hour per page, or less, till the deadline.

2. I know how to say what people want to hear.  My sentences flow.  Academic writing is so natural for me.  I just don’t have to struggle for it, so I don’t.

3. I am now the laziest person I know.  The procrastination has spilled from my school work to every aspect of my life, from practicing to doing chores to exercising to sleeping.  And it needs to stop!!  This is a habit that I cannot afford to continue to encourage. Why?  Because I don’t do anything anymore.  I don’t care about anything. I don’t practice.  I sleep, eat, bike (when I’m not tired from oversleeping), and go to class (most of the time).  With 24 hours in a day, I could be doing so much more!  I need to break this habit.  I have a step-aunt (is that even real?) who posts on facebook all day about how she doesn’t have the energy or time to get out of bed and do anything for her family.  She doesn’t have a job, and she doesn’t even have an extensive knowledge of movie or TV show trivia.  She’s not even depressed.  She just doesn’t care.   I don’t want to be that person, even though right now it feels like that’s what I’m becoming. It’s terrifying (when I can bring myself to care about what I’m doing with my life).

So, today, there are exactly 5 months until I turn 20.  I want this new decade to be the best yet!  I want to care.  I want to be a productive member of society.  I want to bring happiness to other people.  I want to accomplish numerous things every day.  I want to be responsible.   I want to have real talents, and be good at real things.  I want to love and be loved.  I’m gonna break the habit.

I have 5 months to stop procrastinating and start caring.  (The thing is, I normally tell myself I’m going to do that and then say, I need to wait till school is finished, or next week, or next month.  I’m done with that BS. I’m starting today, even though I have a week of class left.)

So, today, I will:

  1. Finish my research paper.  I will read three articles, write 6 pages about them, then write about 5 more pages about their educational implications.  I will do this from 12:30 to 5 pm.  Then I will edit from 8 to 10 pm. Good thing I already have a kick ass introduction.
  2. Make dinner – gluten-free pasta with tuscana tomato basil sauce for me, Lilly, and Nick from 5 to 6.  I have already made hashbrown potato patties today so I’m off to a great start. x.x
  3. Go biking with my dad.  Always the best part of my day, today from 6:15-8. We’re hitting up the chiropractor before hand… damn you, pinched nerve.
  4. Read for my quiz in class tomorrow. The one I was supposed to take yesterday but I didn’t go.  Oops. Hopefully this will only take an hour and a half or so, let’s say 10 to 11:30 pm.
  5. Get enough sleep!  I will go to bed by 1 am!  Hopefully I’ll be done the previous four items by 11:30, but since it’s me and I’m new at this whole get-stuff-done thing, I’m going to leave an hour and a half at the end in case I don’t get my paper done by 5.

The best quick breakfast. Yum!

Sounds like a fun day, right?  Right.  Here’s to my next 12 hours being the most productive I have ever had… Wish me luck.  This will be a miracle if I can complete all of this.
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