Procrastination can be beneficial, so slow down and enjoy life

by Cassidy McCombs, Senior Staff Writer

A moment in time is hard to define these days. An hour feels short one day and long the next, or changes throughout the day based on what is happening. While this seems straight forward – time is after all a social construct – what isn’t so easy to observe is how that time is spent and perceived on an individual level. I can’t make my mind slow down.

I also commonly feel like I can’t keep up with my own life’s timing. I constantly forget plans, run late or can’t commit. This seems fine in the life of a college student, but the feeling isn’t healthy.

At the beginning of each semester I make an excel sheet in Google Drive that organizes each class by column and their respective tests, assignments and due dates by weekly rows. Throughout the semester I have two screens on my computer that I toggle between — one contains my Microsoft OneNote for class, documents I’m working on and a permanent Google Chrome window with my spreadsheet of important dates — and the other is blank.

The blank screen is what I open my computer to. I have Facebook open or articles I intend to read. But, I usually close down all my tabs and open my laptop to a blank slate. I started clicking between my two screens in order to keep my spreadsheet, current assignments and notes immediately accessible without it overwhelming me. I hate looking at my laptop and seeing every tab I have opened, everything I need to do, popping out at me. So I organized myself.

While this seems a little excessive, I find that when I’m in school I can’t shut my mind off easily. I have to remove those reminders to better procrastinate, or to just live my life. I don’t just do this with my academic responsibilities, I do this all the time. I can’t slow myself down without physically making myself. I take steps to better procrastinate, to let my life wander away from immediate responsibilities and exist in real time. Real time can be a day at the beach, a night out or any other experience where future obligations cease to exist and the moment remains just that – a moment in time.

Thomas Hellum is a Norwegian TV producer that started the Slow TV movement. The Slow TV movement features real-time experiences to advocate the importance of slowing down. What’s ironic about the show’s title is that these episodes aren’t in slower time but rather exist in real-time. Hellum’s episodes include a train on route, fishing and knitting, all of which are shown through the duration of the activity or trip. Although boring, the purpose of this movement is to return to appreciating actual time. When watching a movie, time is warped. When watching snapchats or other social media, time is still warped. People no longer exist in one 24-hour time zone, but rather in a fast forwarded understanding of their day and others’ days.

This makes life harder to process. The more time spent on each task, each thought and each moment allows deeper insight and processing. When people live in a state of constant tunnel vision of the future and other obligations, mindfulness is lost. This makes the present time a snowball of stress, not properly processed or appreciated. But there is wonder and realness to experiencing a story in real time. Being at the beach all day gives a different pause than a few hours at the gym before running home to shower and then grabbing dinner. The constant movement prioritizes quantity over quality.

While turning in assignments is important, so is enjoying a day off or genuinely crying and laughing at life’s moments. There is a balance to productivity and self-love. All of which is understood through mindful awareness of time and where you’re going.

Defining space by the quality of an experience and giving that moment meaning and thought will better prepare your future self to handle other obstacles. Just remember, Slow TV is now available on Netflix.