By Harin Srimugayogam, GIS Student
As an inherently irresponsible person, I often find myself slouching in my bed, on a school night, indulging myself with “just one more episode” of yet another TV show, movie or video game, whilst drowning in a sea of homework and self-loathing.
I am a chronic procrastinator and that title comes with some very negative side effects including, but certainly not limited to: an average of less than 3 hours of sleep per night, strong emotional bonds with characters who don’t exist, a deep hatred towards myself, and constant awareness of my insignificance in this vast universe. It’s fair to say that I have a problem. The thing is, I know I’m not the only one suffering from this affliction.
Procrastination is inevitable among students; it’s one of the only constants in the ever changing academical troposphere. One thing that is changing, however, is the intensity with which people procrastinate. People are prone to leaving work for a much longer time, thanks to the increasing accessibility of the Internet. Nowadays, people can stream their favourite show in the same time it takes you to say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” With this decrease in productivity comes the demand for more effective and efficient means of procrastination. A call that I am more than able to answer.
Just to be clear, I am not telling you how to stop procrastinating. There is plenty of advice on that already: google it. I just want to teach you how to get the most out of your procrastination session.
The first method of productive time wasting you can deploy is trying to base your entertainment around a realistic setting. What I mean by that is when you decide to watch a TV show or movie, try to pick ones that are set in reality and not in a fictional universe. Shows [and movies] like Breaking Bad, Narcos, Se7en, Band of Brothers, The Fault in Our Stars and The Big Bang Theory are all great examples. You will find that these shows carry a much deeper meaning and often can be quite educational. They offer the potential to provide social or political commentary on the past, present or potential future or explore the minds of the most interesting people. Take Walter White from Breaking Bad. In the first episode, he’s a humble chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung cancer, just trying to make ends meet for his family. But by the end of the show, he’s the drug overlord of New Mexico. It’s his steady descent into madness and addiction that captivates us as viewers; it shows us just how close we are to the edge, that even the sanest of people are just one bad day away from destroying their lives. Shows like Breaking Bad don’t just offer philosophical insights to the human mind, but also inadvertently teach you things like how to make crystal meth. There’s a lot to be learnt from televised media, which is what makes it so great. Not only is there quality entertainment there, whether you like it or not, you will learn something and come out a smarter individual.
Choosing to watch educational content would be extremely beneficial and surprisingly entertaining, so don’t throw eggs at me just yet. Many YouTube channels strive to deliver news and educate you in the most engaging method possible. Favourites of mine include Sourcefed, Kursgesagt, Sci Show and Crash Course. These channels actively engage you and ensure your amusement when learning about topics like quantum relativity. It’s also important to note that the political world has gotten very interesting because of one (ridiculously stupid) man, Donald Trump. This guy is comedy gold, however a fact that worries me is that he is in line to be the next leader of the free world. Despite that, he makes for an entertaining watch.
If you choose to follow these methods of procrastination, it’s quite likely you will have objectively better time-wasting sessions. However, it is my duty to point out that, the fact that I made this article in the first place is a testament to the massive impact procrastination has on our lives. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed sooner or later and quite evidently, I have opted for later. Have fun and be responsible, or at least try to be.