From Minor League Baseball to a Flaming Basketball

He's on fire!

You’re probably wondering why the NBA Jam logo at the top of this post. I won’t wait any longer to tell you why. It’s because it’s an amazing procrastination tool.

I meant to write a blog post last night specifically about procrastinating, and (not so) oddly enough, I put it off for another day. I was too busy trying to conquer all the ridiculous challenges in the game, like beating a mascot in 21 and preventing Shaq from destroying the backboard with slam dunks.

As much as I love NBA Jam (on Sega, now on Wii, and its first cousin NBA Hangtime for Nintendo 64), I realize that like any other fun thing, it can be too alluring not to play when there’s work to be done. No, I’m not giving up on Jamz, as some of my friends and I call it when we’re in an I-need-to-destroy-you-in-something-meaningless mood. But I am currently not playing it so I can write this blog post.

Procrastinating is something I’ve battled with ever since the fifth grade, when I didn’t start an involved flow-chart-meets-picture-diorama book report until 7 pm the night before it was due.(For the record, I remember enjoying the book and hating the report.) Like any good journalist, I thrive under pressure of a deadline (or maybe I just wanted to play more video games).

If there’s one good part to procrastination, it’s that you can use it for delayed gratification. Although it usually works in reverse for me, if there’s something I can at least stand doing, I’ll wait to do the easy parts or the parts I might enjoy, knowing I’ll be that much happier when I get to them. Unfortunately, doing three hard parts in a row doesn’t set you on fire like in Jamz, but it does help you gain some momentum.

I was lucky to not have that many opportunities to procrastinate while I was with the Renegades, which made my life much easier. Getting rid of things to procrastinate about is a simple concept, but it’s certainly not easy to carry out. That’s why I made the suggestion in the last paragraph. If there’s really nothing you like about your current project, do the hardest parts first (as long as they don’t depend on work from the easy parts). Once they’re over with, the rest will seem significantly easier, or at least less stressful.

As much as I like to make promises (and follow through with them), I can’t promise that I’m done procrastinating. Don’t worry though. I don’t ever plan to, so I’m not putting it off.

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