Procrastination Nation

Students in Lamont
Meredith H. Keffer

Student in Lamont

College students of the world rejoice—and don't feel the need to log off Facebook just yet. According to two blog posts published by the Harvard Business Review this week, it turns out that procrastination might not be as bad for us as we think, and hours spent agonizing over our futures are largely a waste a time. So instead of stressing, don't worry, be happy, and StumbleUpon to your heart's content.

While the key to wasting time effectively may not be quite that simple, efficient procrastination does exist. Research done by scientists at NASA has shown that when we experience a manageable amount of anxiety and stress, our brains produce dopamine that stimulates both innovation and higher performance on assigned tasks. In this sense, procrastination—which is often viewed as the product of a lack of motivation—acts a driving force behind a person's (eventual) productivity.

Just as we have many misconceptions about the merits of procrastination, the popularity of carefully planning one's career may also be misguided. According to Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown, movement within various industries and changes in the economy are too unpredictable to accurately plan ahead for your career. "If you don't know what the world is going to look like five years from now, there is not a lot of sense trying to predict potential external factors planning your career based on that dubious prediction."

Schlesinger, Kiefer, and Brown also argue that individuals who are too focused on rigid career expectations will miss out on other opportunities along the way to a carefully planned goal that may not even exist by the time they are supposed to arrive there. Instead, they suggest that individuals pursue their interests and desires and develop "a strategy to discover and create opportunities consistent with that desire."

You heard it here kiddos: Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? It seems that tomorrow will take care of itself.

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