Repeated reminders from my editor, frantic phone calls and patient requests. I sat back and listened, sometimes smiled mostly frowned with a deep sense of guilt within me. Finally today I sit in front of my computer screen wondering what exactly I was doing all these days. Some of retrospection coupled with whatever little I had heard about this ’avoidance behaviour’, I concluded that I am chronically affected by ‘procrastination’.
Procrastination or the tendency to defer any work or activity to a later period is a destructive habit, which most people and in particular most young people suffer from these days. How many times have you told your mother that you are definitely going to clean up your cupboard next week? Or when was the last time you met a deadline without losing your sleep over it the previous night? The reasons why we may procrastinate may range from lack of time management, to being overwhelmed by the task or even sheer laziness or boredom. Although these ‘excuses’ may justified from time to time but the moment you find yourself repeating them more often than usual, you know that you definitely do not want to head in this direction. One may not always take this problem seriously but we must realize that it is in no way trivial; in fact it is a very profound problem of self-regulation and must be conquered in order to achieve any goals, big or small. Procrastination in fact is believed to hinder long-term career prospects and can affect ones way of life if not taken seriously.
As I write this I am filled with a sense of anxiety and nervousness, I ask myself are those extra hours of sleep or that one movie or just those times when I sat and did nothing really worth risking my career or losing my position as correspondent? Procrastination affects all of us in some way or the other. Some may overcome it sooner than others but in whatever little way it affects you it is still harmful. The only way to conquer this disorder is accept that you have to do what you are meant to do, NOW and NOT later. Sometimes people set goals, which are too far-fetched, or unachievable, one should begin by setting short-term goals. Quite often procrastination is connected to anxieties about the quality of the work you hope (or fear) you will produce! At times like this, it is worth remembering that it’s better to produce something rather than nothing!
I make an appeal to all my procrastinating peers. Stop lying to yourself. Stop saying that your are definitely going to meet that deadline tomorrow. I know, that you know that it’s never going to happen. Using the age-old cliché, ‘what you plan to do tomorrow, do it today, and what you plan to do today, do it now’.
And trust me, when you have finally written that article and your editor is reading it and smiling to herself, you are going to feel much better. In fact the satisfaction of finally completing a task is going to motivate you to continue working and stop procrastinating. Hope ‘The Viewspaper’ missed me, at least a little, because now I am back! Looking forward to hearing from the readers.