Procrastination: Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

If there is anything in this world that could stop us from reaching our goals and feeling accomplished, it’s our ability to push that which has immediate importance into the future -- the easiest way to “solve” our problems.

As humans we have the ability to understand time and we use it to our advantage. At an early age we are given time frames for when certain things must be done. Although it doesn’t seem like all too big of a deal, making your bed before school, brushing your teeth after every meal and completing your chores before you go outside are all forms of time management. There’s only so much time in a day, so learning to navigate through the multiple aspects of one’s life is key in becoming a well-rounded individual.

Now comes the truth of the matter. We don’t always use our time appropriately and we aren’t always as preoccupied about an assignment deadline as our teachers expect. Sometimes other outside forces change our outlook, be it new friends and relationships or family matters, and things that were originally a priority become an afterthought. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying one’s time because it’s ultimately what many of us strive for. However it does become a problem when the future catches up to the present and all those “tomorrows” have come and gone, leaving you with a stressful “today.”

“It can wait until later.” “I’ll get to it eventually.”  “I’ve got until tomorrow.” “There’s still time!” Not only have I heard them all, I’ve said them all . I wouldn’t see deadlines as time periods. Instead, I’d see them as a challenge: how long could I go without doing any work. The result would often be a subpar product. More often than not, it’d something that I’d be embarrassed to show anyone if it wasn’t for the excuse, “I would have done better if I actually tried.” The sad fact is I was terrified to see what the quality of my actual work would be -- so much so I’d turn in rushed work as an excuse to not confront my own inferiorities.

To make a long story short: I procrastinated to hide my self-worth.

People will procrastinate for a slew of different reasons, but all that really does is impede on our progress and slow us down. Some have cut off ties with friends because all they do is waste their time, but those same people will turn around and put off their 20-page final paper to go to the club or play on their phone. We are hindering our own success because the future is always a tomorrow away; in reality, today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Being future conscious is not a bad thing. We are one of the only species that can be, but our present is just as important.

The creative in me wants to create and make as much as possible. The procrastinator in me wants to go out to that new burger restaurant or take a nap. Making something out of nothing isn’t a quick a process. Whether you are drawing, writing, singing or improving your craft, know to give yourself enough time to make something wonderful -- something you’d be proud to show off.

Procrastinating will cause you to be unfocused. It’ll leave you wavering and unprepared. The time will come when you’ll need to be ready, and if you aren’t because you wasted time, someone else will be. Our work is a reflection of ourselves, so let’s make sure it’s held to our standards.

Let’s all try to be prepared, and leave the procrastinating until tomorrow in the past.

Cesar Estrada