Chillin’. Chillaxin’. Tea-time, a well-deserved break and we’re just having some fun. These are just a few of the words we use to cover what we call, sincerely, as ‘procrastination’. We’ve all been there and done it. In fact, I was just doing it now.
Why don’t we rename this lengthy word to something simpler, let’s say, ‘proation’. In fact, as we’re shortening it, we may as well cut it down topr(from hereon, procrastination will be referred to as ‘pr‘).
“So what’s all the fuss about? What’s the big deal?”
The big deal, the one time and all time banger comes with an eternal wave of negative impacts that most people find near impossible to escape. It is in our nature to put today’s work back to tomorrow – and when tomorrow becomes today, the same repeats, as a vicious, never-ending cycle.
Let’s take a simple example; the life of a typical student because I can myself recall being this way for most of my student years - an assignment with the deadline down few months, and at this point, we can only dream of realising the importance of deadlines; weeks pass, and we firmly decide that we’ll start the assignment ‘tomorrow’. This ‘tomorrow’ comes several times at which point, the decisions and plans change to; right, I shall finish all of intro tomorrow,so it’s fine we can rest today.
Well, you see where this is going – nowhere. The days will pass until the day before the deadline and you'd rather wish for a catastrophe than having to actually start the essay 8 hours before the deadline. Yet nothing (again) happens, and you delay a few more hours until you finally begin; realising it isn’t so bad if you hadn’t started so late, (again) strongly concluding that next time you shall start the essay nice and early. Which happens...like NEVER.
This had been my student life over the span of 10+ years; and pr never gets easier to escape from. And to a certain extent, I’m still in this game of degradation and self-pity.
As a pro pr, the way I see it, pr is in fact a sensational method to relieve stress and recharge – also perhaps serving as a pure gold block of time. I mean, just a wisp of a thought of pr-ing, releases a stream of euphoria, only heaps of cash and chocolate mountains can match. But as they say, too much of anything is bad, tragically too much of pr is not anywhere near enough.
As deep as the rabbit hole goes i.e. research, the theories are extensive and wide, but as a pro procrastinator myself have been for so long, I’d like to respectfully note 2 reasons why we pr. ▶ FREEDOM OF TIME AND LACK THEREOF ▶ URGENCY AND LACK THEREOF We have the freedom of time, most of the time – which is the main trigger for pr. Our lives are intertwined with tasks that needs to be completed by a definitive date – or not, and this is why it gets done or not done. There is no easier way of understanding this except – if a task does not need to be done by tomorrow, then there is absolutely no logical reason to be done today.
Sounds pretty logical to me… no?
With respect to such situations, then should putting off today’s tasks regarded as pr-ing? I’m not too sure in fact, except, whether or not today’s actions can be labelled as pr-ing, such devilish trend has the knack of extending its course, stretching from days to years – and mind you, years will bridge your teens to adulthood, and next thing you know, you’re preparing for the end. This prompts the idea that we have a genuine need for deadlines – whatever we do, we cannot get things done until it’s demanded of us – unless of course, we have a love for it (but how rare is that). And it must also be noted that, from the start of pr, it runs a sloppy downhill towards failure, whether that’d be academic, career or even health. Eventually however, time will run out and freedom will vanish – this leads to two very narrow ways towards one outcome, that is, again, failure. One narrow way pushes you to complete the task – but limited time forces you to hurry and quality could and would suffer drastically. The other way threatens you to give up, again ultimately leading to failure. Our systems are also based on prioritising – if both your mum and dad fell in the sea and neither could swim, which one person would you save? Well, we can’t choose. But everything else, we can (unless you need to choose between a Ferrari 458 and a Lambo Huracan) choose according to their importance in yours and your loved ones’ lives. Can ‘urgency’ really explain the existence of pr? I sure think so. This particular element allows us to identify what is required of us as human beings, upon which we shall try our utmost best to live up to it. There are levels of urgency – with the most basic level being survival. This layer remains fundamental to our behaviour, a result of our thoughts and actions that stems from the surroundings and circumstances. Our survival instinct is vital in explaining the emotional, losing battle with pr as it informs us of our ability to do anything. To lose our survival instincts, is like losing our will to live – and this missing puzzle is large enough to indicate a condition that is rather more serious than pr, a category of their own. You know, if you are a serious pr reading this, whatever I say won’t help you get things done. You may be able to relate and understand these words for several moments in which you would find several realisations of common ground where you are required to be – yet in a few more moments, this shall too pass. You can read the most convincing article on pr– but I can guarantee you, it won’t get your ass moving.
So what can be done?
My advice to you is that, it is up to you to discover what triggers you away from pr, or whether someone or something must actively pull you out of this hole.
Well, that's it for today (thanks for reading - I'm sure you had better pr methods...)
If you want to have a well-indulged discussion on this topic, please, message me. I'd love to talk about how I love to roll around in bed all year.
by Dr Peter