Procrastination is a gift, not a curse

Some of us are just blessed with the ability to procrastinate

More stories from Faith Hultman



Hultman plays Sims in The Spectator office one hour before her deadline

I’ve heard it many times from my second grade (okay all the grades) teacher, from my parents and from my peers.

“Faith, you need to get it together.”

“Faith is gifted, but she doesn’t put enough time into her work.”

“Faith, you spent all last night playing Sims, but you have a massive project due today?”

Procrastination is viewed as a negative behavior, one that must be eradicated through careful time management and the development of responsible habits. All my life I have been the type of person to wait until the last possible second to complete anything and everything.

I spent years agonizing over how to get over my “bad” habits. I knew that I would never succeed if I kept putting everything off until the last minute because that is what everyone told me, and yet I couldn’t stop.

The lure of living life was too great.

Did I do my assignments in elementary, middle and high school? Yes. Did I understand the concepts? Usually. Did I have the chance to do other, more fun and enriching things while I was putting off the homework I knew I was capable of doing in a very limited time span? Yes.

After years of despair, I have realized that procrastination is actually a talent. Not everyone can write an A-level paper in the two hours before class.

Some people take days to construct an outline, write a first draft and rewrite. They carefully organize their sources and decide which angle to take. All of this time spent painstakingly building a paper takes away from time that could be spend doing other, more life-enriching activities.

Yesterday I read an entire paperback, watched two hours worth of Netflix and wrote a chapter of my pipe-dream novel. Each of these activities were unrelated to school, but were more helpful in cultivating who I am as a person than writing an essay.

Now I’m infinitely more prepared for Kimmy Schmidt’s season two appearance on Netflix, or for the day when I become the next J.K. Rowling.

I will still write the papers, read the psych chapter and this column has clearly been written. The difference is that, over the years, I have perfected the art of doing things in a time crunch.

To be totally honest, the ability to do things in a limited amount of time is infinitely more valuable to me than the ability to start early and space the task out.

Schools these days should start teaching procrastination as a life skill instead of trying to tell children their gifts are somehow unworthy or won’t serve them well in their future.

I can’t imagine the harm that would have been done to my personality if I had listened to the advice of everyone around me and become less of a procrastinator. I would be so busy lengthening the time it takes to do my schoolwork that I would never have time to broaden my horizons.

No skill has served me as well as procrastination. Stop listening to the hype and go with what you know deep inside your time “wasting” soul.