Essay on Procrastination is the Thief of Time – Expansion of Idea
“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases, and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” -Wayne Gretzky
Procrastination is delaying the completion of tasks at hand. It is when individuals choose to do something at the nick of time, even after knowing that it might lead to harmful or undesirable consequences. It refers to putting things off.
For example, a student has to submit a 25-page report and has a whole week to do it. He or she might think that seven days is a whole lot of time on their hands. He or she might wait till the last day to complete the report or in some cases, may even start working on it just hours before the submission.
Another example can be when an office going middle-aged adult feels constant chest pains at regular intervals and decides to see a doctor but always ends up cancelling appointments due to one reason or another. He or she may not realize that those chest pains could be symptoms of a harmful or life-threatening disease at that time and may regret it later.
These examples clearly show that procrastination is indeed the thief of time. In a study conducted by the University of Vermont, it was found that about 46% of college-going students tend to always procrastinate at the time of paper submissions, completing assignments, studying for exams and reading text material.
Why do People Procrastinate?
One reason for people being procrastinators can be if they tend to look at themselves as perfectionists. A perfectionist will always try to put off doing something new or unfamiliar because of the reason that he or she might not be able to carry out their tasks correctly. They are scared of making mistakes and do not wish to look vulnerable.
The next reason why people prefer to procrastinate is that they fear the unknown. Let’s take an example. Anil, a 30-year old man, is suffering from severe hair fall. He might think that it is just a sign of him getting old and avoid going to the doctor whereas, it might be a sign of cancer.
Even if the thought of having cancer comes to Anil’s mind, he feels that since his family history is free from cancer, there is no way that he could get it. This is a wrong belief and mindset. It is often said that what you don’t know, can’t hurt you, but it is not advisable to follow this.
The most common excuse that people give for putting off tasks is that they will do it later. But little do they actually succeed in doing it? For example, Rakesh is a young man who has recently gained a lot of weight and is now determined to lose it and become fit. He feels that dieting and exercising regularly will help him succeed. But as soon as he sees a chocolate cake or a cookie, he gives in to his cravings and ends up saying that he will start dieting from tomorrow, i.e. the next day. This is an example which clearly shows us that “Tomorrow” never comes.
People also tend to put off doing heavy and cumbersome tasks that require a lot of time and effort. They instead prefer carrying out smaller or filler tasks that give them immediate results and rewards.
Procrastination can also be a result of a lack of motivation. This lack of motivation can result from fatigue, low self-confidence, unclear goals, stress, being surrounded by negative and discouraging people, other priorities, etc.
How to Stop Procrastinating
One of the very simple ways to stop procrastinating is by dividing the work into smaller parts. If you find the task to be a big load, then you can always break it down into little bits that can be completed one after another. This will give you a feeling of constant achievement and progress.
The second way can be by changing our environment. Many times, looking and working at the same place day in and day out can make us less productive. If you get distracted continuously from studying in your room, and all you can think about is snuggling up in your warm bed and going off to sleep, then shifting your books and other study materials to the balcony or the dining table might be a good idea.
The third way is identifying the reasons why you procrastinate and eliminating them. If social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram are proving to be addictive and they start taking up a significant proportion of your useful time, then it might be a good idea to deactivate your accounts for a little while. If you wish to lose weight but become weak when your eyes fall upon sweets, then it would be a great idea to buy and keep only healthy and nutritious food options at your house.
Lastly, surrounding yourself with people who inspire you and encourage you to keep going and not put your foot down can also help you to stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is a disease. One should always avoid falling into its traps. Remember that you are never that tired to call your mother and check up on her. Neither are you ever too busy to start pursuing and making time for your favourite hobby.