“Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.”
All of us are plagued by the problem of procrastination. We keep putting off for later work that needs to be done NOW. We do this knowingly, consciously, with the total awareness that we are not doing what we should be doing and instead we use the time and the energy to do something that can actually be postponed. Why do we do this? Our inner voice tells us not to procrastinate, not to postpone the urgent, important work and yet we do it.
Scared to rock the boat
One major reason we do this is because we are scared to rock the boat. Doing something important and worthwhile will impact large parts of our life and bring about a change of some kind. And we are fearful of that change. We want things to continue as always. We want to maintain status quo. The future is unpredictable, we do not know how these things will affect future happenings. So we prefer not to do anything in the hope that things will be good for us just as they are.
We are scared of failing: a justifiable fear, but if we don’t take steps, different steps from the present, we may never have a chance to succeed. So putting off change does not have a favourable effect on us if we think we will not be able to make it.
Also scared of success
Surprisingly, we are also scared of success. We know that if we attain our objectives and succeed in our endeavours, things will again change around us and we have no clue as to how to handle that change. So we procrastinate with respect to any decision or action that will shift things around. We human beings are creatures of habit and any change, positive or negative, beneficial or harmful scares the life out of us. But whenever you hear yourself saying go slow, don’t take on extra responsibility, don’t go down that path, do something different, you know that you are procrastinating. Put a brake on your mind and do the opposite of what your inner voice advises. Do the difficult things, take the risk and move forward.
Procrastination is not only sitting idle – it is time and energy spent on doing what does not need to be done, what is redundant and completely avoidable. Procrastination diverts our attention from the main issue and makes us concentrate on mundane unnecessary details. We don’t need to achieve perfection in every pointless task. So don’t waste time doing that. Free your time from doing superfluous tasks and use the time to do something useful, something worthwhile.
“Doing nothing” is actually a good thing
“Doing nothing” is actually a good thing. That is the time when you spend some “me-time” doing what you enjoy – when you recharge your batteries and get ready for the next round in your daily life. Keep some time aside for this – it is necessary for your physical and mental and emotional well-being.
When you procrastinate, you focus on the easy, the known, the dependable variables – there is no risk, no fear. But there is also very little gain. When you opt to gamble, to make a change, to leave procrastination aside, you see the signs of success and progress.