Everyone procrastinates, it does not matter who you are. Whether it is snuggling into the cosy blanket for 5 more minutes, or snoozing that alarm for 10 minutes of extra sleep, or watching just one episode of your favourite sitcom before starting with the main task, or checking our Facebook just one more time before getting ‘busy’ with our job. In fact, I have a confession to make – I am a ‘PRO’ in procrastinator!
Why do we do it? It is rightly said, “Every vice has its excuses ready.” Procrastination is no exception to it. Some common excuses include –
- “There’s still time in its’ deadline. Just one more episode of G.O.T won’t do any harm.”
- “I’ll start right after I return from the movies.”
- “I have got too much else to do right now, I’ll do it later.”
- “I don’t have enough information to start, maybe later.”
- “I don’t think I’ll be able to do it ‘perfectly’ right now, I should save it for the RIGHT TIME.”
- “What if it goes wrong? I will do it correctly later.”
So on and so forth …
Procrastinators delay until the day after tomorrow, what they know they should have done the day before yesterday. Procrastination spreads like a virus and leaves no aspect of our lives without its ‘salutary’ touch and influence. It might seem that procrastination makes us happy. Actually, it robs us off our happiness leading to feelings of guilt and regret. Isn’t it? As it turns out, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. instead of doing your work leads to stress (as the deadline is looming closer), guilt and regret (“I am such a fool, I should have done it earlier”). That one episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. might have made you happy at that time but admit it, by putting your task off, you actually invited all the stress, guilt and regret to your doorstep.
Here’s how procrastination eats away our well-being:
- Losing precious time. The realisation of how much time you have wasted doing nothing, is a TERRIBLE-TERRIBLE feeling because you can’t go back in time.All you can do is to live with this helpless feeling of guilt and regret all your life. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated at your own self, knowing the situation could have been so much different and so much better…if only you had taken that first step!
- Blowing opportunities. The inventor of electric bulb-Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” What we don’t realize is that this opportunity could have been life changing, but we missed out on it because we were busy procrastinating. Most opportunities only come around once, so grab them with both hands!
- It could ruin our career. Procrastination makes us delay work, stops us from meeting deadlines or achieving targets. Consequence of such poor performance? Delayed or no promotion at all, or even a risk of losing the job.
- Damaged reputation.
Jack keeps saying that he will complete the project tomorrow.
Jack’s tomorrow never comes.
Jack doesn’t complete the project.
Nobody likes empty promises.
Nobody respects Jack.
Nobody likes Jack.
DON’T BE LIKE JACK.
- Risk to health. We know that procrastination directly leads to stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety spread over prolonged time lead to DEPRESSION. Depression has severe health consequences.
- Damaged personal relationships. Putting off important tasks at work is like stealing the time from your family and giving it to work. We end up spending more time doing that work that we delayed at the first place. Reaching home late, missing family dinners and re-unions, postponing dates with spouse, to complete the pending works will all lead to damaged personal relation.
Procrastination is like a credit card. It is a lot of fun until we get the bill. It is that cancer which kills our chances of success. The first step to do away with this habit would be to realise that we have this problem. Sounds cliché, right? But how can we ACT on a problem until we REALISE that we actually have a problem.
REALISE it. ACT on it. GET RID of it.