Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Why do something now that can be done later? This question has continuously challenged the human race. You would think each generation keeps putting off answering it to the next generation. We all hate its terrible results... or do we...

Today I will describe to you the great benefits that await you as you procrastinate. The key to procrastination is successful procrastination. Don't take my example for this because I am a very bad (or good? I get them confused too.) procrastinator. My example to expound these benefits is Spencer D. Hansen - Master Procrastinator (Time manager? - we'll see...)

Here are a few of his credentials:
  • Waited until he only had six hours until his Calculus III Final to begin studying for it (the 7:30 a.m. start time sure didn't help)
  • Continuously waits to fuel his car until the E is no longer visible
  • Average time between completing a school assignment and turning it in - 53 seconds
  • Number of times he completed his assignment within 5 minutes of being due - 1392 (99% of all assignments)
  • Number of times he failed to reach the bathroom in time - unknown (est. 5)
  • Thrice failed to contact me in time to receive free tickets to Jazz games
  • Hours of sleep lost due to last minute studying - 656
  • Lost six girls to missions due to failure to pop the question in time
  • Failed to complete his final paper for his Masters of Accounting Program
  • Chose to spontaneously eat out with long-lost friends rather than read eight chapters that he would be tested on in a few short hours (this occurred yesterday... old habits die hard)
This list spells disaster. From reading it, you would assume that Spencer lives a life full of chaos and wasted time, failing to meet his deadlines and continuously performing poorly in school and every other aspect of his life. And you'd be right because procrastination always brings negative consequences...

To further prove my point, let's now look at the results of each of those above credentials:
  • Aced his Calculus III Final
  • Has never ran out of gas
  • Current GPA - 3.7
  • Has spent countless hours becoming a social genius by spending 99% of all evenings entertaining himself and others
  • No known data (est. has a new, updated wardrobe every season)
  • All of those Jazz games were horrible losses
  • Spends every weekend doing things he loves (I mean, who wants that when you could be doing homework...)
  • Is consequently responsible for one new ward and has seen a 83% increase in attractiveness to females (22% to males)
  • Received an A on his, albeit, incomplete final paper for his Masters of Accounting Program
  • Test was postponed - crisis averted - had a delicious lunch with friends
Well, that's a little unexpected. Maybe procrastinating isn't so bad after all...

I had the privilege of being Spencer's roommate for a few of his college years. I saw these scenarios first hand on a daily basis. I was shocked repeatedly by his actions and subsequent results. After years of being a witness, I still struggle to believe them myself. Nevertheless, I must stand by these empirical, unwavering results.

There is a common misconception that putting off something important is bad. Under the correct circumstances, this couldn't be further from the truth. If you still believe that Spencer was in the wrong with the above stated credentials, then I hope to impress upon you the correct way to prioritize so that you may learn the proper method (the Spensarian Method) to procrastiNATE. 

To begin, you must first see the broad picture. Look at all of your available options for the next 24 hours (or however long you must plan for based on your circumstances) and do the following:

  1. Identify what must be completed before your deadline
  2. Calculate the amount of time necessary to complete the items in Plan Step 1
  3. Assess what possible activities (if any) are "once-in-a-lifetime" that would cause you great disappointment if you missed out on them
  4. Determine any other entertainment options that you would not want to miss
  1. Do all activities from Plan Step 3 in their allotted time slot, no exceptions
  2. Do all activities from Plan Step 4 in their allotted time slot
  3. Do other important tasks from Plan Steps 1 and 2 only if Execute Steps 1 and 2 are not being performed (aka, only if you have nothing better to do)
  4. If necessary tasks are not completed and the time available to complete them reaches the predetermined time allotment from Plan Step 2 and you are not currently involved in Execute Step 1, abandon Execute Step 2 to complete Plan Step 2 with minutes (or seconds) to spare
  5. Bask in the enjoyment and accomplishment
Now successfully following (or understanding) these steps is a lot harder than it looks. I only know one person who is completely successful with them. You may doubt, as I have doubted, but when properly followed they have proven to have a 100% success rate. You can chalk it up to extreme luck, determination, or odd Uruguayan sorcery, but it cannot be refuted that time and time again, Spencer D. Hansen successfully procrastinates.

As his roommate, I was in awe that I never saw him go to sleep at night or wake up in the morning. For a three month span (weekends excluded), I never even saw him in our apartment. He spent his nights having fun and his mornings meeting his many deadlines. And the miracle of it was he never failed.

I decided months ago to write this post about his procrastination. But of course, I procrastinated it. I reached a moment where I was scared that this phenomenon didn't hold true. Spencer informed me that he failed to finish his Masters of Accounting final. Both of us were worried that the streak was over. We feared that his luck had ran out. He had pushed the envelope one step too far and it would now be his ultimate demise. Result: He aced it. Then, as I was finishing up this blog post, he called me to tell me that he chose to eat out with long lost friends rather than read the chapters he would be tested on in just hours. Fear overwhelmed me as I realized that my entire post would be voided. Result: Test was miraculously postponed.

This luck does not happen to ordinary people. It only happens to people like Spencer who make the most out of their life. Their lives become so good that there is no room for disappointment. Then everything has to fall their way because there is no other option.

So the next time you're considering studying for a test or finishing up a school project instead of playing a game of flag football or going to a dance party, take this lesson from Spencer and do today what can be done today and leave tomorrow to take care of tomorrow, tomorrow.

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