The Best Worst Excuses for Justifying Procrastination

by Muranda Mendez

We’ve all been guilty of procrastinating at some point. And while procrastinating doesn’t seem like such a brilliant idea when it’s 2 AM and we’ve yet to run our paper through a grammar checker, we have to laugh at some of the excuses we come up with to justify our own poor decision-making. Here are our top five favorite reasons for justifying procrastination.

5. “It’s not due for awhile.”

This one’s a classic. Why start something now when you have plenty of time? Before you know it, though, those weeks shrink down to days and then hours. While this excuse inevitably adds more stress to our lives, we still pull it out every once in awhile.

4. “I’ll do it after…”

The best motivation to clean your room? A big homework assignment.

We’ve all told ourselves we’ll start our work after we do something else. After all, how can we be expected to concentrate with a messy desk? The rub, though, is that you can always come up with something more important to do. Once you’ve finished one task, boom—there’s another one to take its place.

One of the best versions of this one is, “I’ll start after I finish this episode.” We all know that watching just one episode of whatever show we’re currently binge-watching is like promising to easy just one potato chip. Best not to even open the bag.

3. “Something else came up.”

Similar to number four, “something else came up” is a great, all-purpose excuse for putting off our assignments a little longer. While it can sometimes be legitimate, usually the only thing that “comes up” is our own decision to procrastinate. For example, “Something came up and I had to go help my friend” is usually another way of saying “I didn’t feel like starting it yet so I went to hang out with friends.”

2. “No one else has started yet.”

I’ve used this one to justify my own procrastinating many, many times. Everyone in class usually ends up discussing the assignment at some point, which often reveals that the entire class is procrastinating just as much as you are. Someone usually cracks a joke about how they’re planning on starting around 11 PM the night before it’s due.

There’s no real logic to the idea that everyone else procrastinating means it’s a good idea for you to do it, too, but it can come as a relief to know that your classmates are equally as stressed as you.

1. “I work better under stress.”

This is the best, weirdest, most universal and probably most untrue excuse for procrastinating. While we’ve all probably said it at some point, none of us actually works better under stress: we just work faster because we know the deadline is approaching with every passing minute. This excuse is a crowd favorite, though, because it relieves us of some of the guilt of putting things off.

The moral of the story is that most of us will come up with any excuse to justify procrastinating on our assignments. Maybe we should expend that time and creativity on our work instead. It’ll save us some stress (that we definitely don’t work better under) later on, when the deadline is only an hour away.

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