Procrastination, the Library and the Leprechaun Galaxy.

By Joseph Cardle

I don’t think it’s that much of an overstatement to say that my pathological aversion to starting work is ruining my life. I get stressed out and annoyed and probably lower my chances of getting a good grade dramatically. I can’t help but leave it right up until the deadline, by which point I’ve cried all the moisture out of my skull several times over.  Something’s got to give.

I decided to go to the library and not allow myself to leave until I had started doing some work, all the while hoping to work out what was causing my extreme procrastination and get over it. This ended up costing me most of my sanity. In true Lovecraftian style, I kept a diary of the ordeal. Enjoy.

13.19: Assignments outstanding: Psychology essay and practical work, English essay and tutorial questions. Assignments attempted: none.

Where to sit? The computer lab is out: it’d be too easy to just go on Facebook and vegetate until I get thrown out. Level Five is probably the most relevant to my studies, but then again, that’s 100% more stairs to climb than the perfectly serviceable Level Four. Level Four it is! I hope I get a window seat.

13.25: I got a window seat! What’s more, there’s no one to either side of me! I can tap my desk and breathe heavily and drink Pepsi and burp all I like! This is living. Christ, I’m sad.

 I pull three textbooks and a notepad out of my bag. I flip to a new page and write “ENGLISH” at the top. A minute later, I underline it.

13.51: I haven’t written anything more yet, nor read any of the textbooks. Instead, I’ve been drawing geometric shapes in the margins of my notepad (I don’t know why I do this, but I’ve done it for as long as I can remember) and little, probably insulting cartoons of people outside. Also, someone’s sat at the desk next to mine. I have named her Captain Funkiller, scourge of comfort and relaxation the world over.

Right. Time to bloody start this.

 14.16: I came up with the best idea for a Saturday morning cartoon ever. Because it’s been raining, and the sun’s out now, there was a rainbow, so of course I started thinking about leprechauns. Obviously. So, basically, the premise is that leprechauns are actually aliens who live on a little green planet where the gravity’s incredibly dense, which is what makes them so small. They fly around space in this rocket – that leaves a rainbow trail – stealing gold from various planets and getting drunk all the time.

 No, I haven’t started yet.

14.48: I’ve been drawing cartoons of leprechauns and spaceships for the last 25 minutes. Christ, if anyone saw this notepad I’d probably get sectioned.

15.13: This was a stupid idea. Not the leprechaun one, that was brilliant. The library one. I’m bored and grumpy and I don’t want to do any work and all I want is some lunch and English is a stupid subject anyway. I don’t want to fail, though. Argh!

 15.35: Hang on, that’s it! I don’t want to fail. I’m so scared of failure that I’m too afraid to actually start the work that will help me pass. That sounds just silly enough to be true, like a leprechaun rocket ship! It’s either that or I’m lazy, which would be ridiculous.

I think I understand now that the only way to succeed is to get over my insecurities about academia itself and realise that I don’t need to work myself up into a delirious frenzy in order to be productive. Thanks, Larry the Leprechaun. You’ve really taught me something about myself today.

Right then! Here we go! English! Shakespeare! Words! Great work! A new frontier! I am ready!

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