Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Procrastination...the sure cure

Have you ever noticed that when the urge to waste the time is stronger when there is some important stuff pending? And the more important the task, greater the temptation is. Multiply this urge-to-do-nothing-or-something-else with four if the task in hand is related to your job. And by 7 if there is a tight deadline.
Why do we procrastinate? What is the rationale behind staying in bed another couple of minutes before getting out of it halfheartedly? It's not as if we are going to get any significant amount of sleep or rest by a couple of minutes. Another question that bothers me is, why are certain people (people like me for instance) more prone to it than others? Is procrastination a criminal act?
In my opinion people do so because of various reasons. For one, perhaps the job that needs to be done is not as interesting as the diversionary activity. Or is just plain boring? But I have frequently caught myself putting things off that I really enjoy doing, like writing or reading, or cooking. Then again, one doesn't always feel like cooking, reading or writing all the time.
As for not wanting to get out of bed and telling yourself you will get out of it in another couple of minutes, at the interval of ten minutes is the hugest problem for some people(again a trait that I share with these people). I have found that I could always get up at the exact time when I went to university because I didn't want to miss a single class. But once I joined a publication center for a job, it was a completely different story. Even now, I have no trouble in getting up at exactly the time I want to if I have a project with a tight deadline. (Unfortunately, translation projects always seem to have a tight deadline!)
Also, perhaps it's a matter of learning to prioritise and balance. You have to remind yourself why you are doing a certain thing and which is the correct order of doing it, i.e which job is most pressing. Must I put off watching another episode of Tom and Jerry and do the laundry first? Can I decide not to surf the web for a few days and finish that book I started weeks ago? Is it worthwhile to stop playing online games in order to write something that makes sense? Perhaps! One needs to do a lot of soul searching in order to come to a definitive answer. Or as an alternative, accept that there are no definite answers and learn to live with it.
Oh, and is it a crime to procrastinate? Absolutely, if it is usurping your time to the extent that you aren't doing anything constructive. If, one is merely wasting their potential on activities that contribute nothing positive to your lifestyle.
And by the way, instead of writing pseudo philosophical essays, I should get back to that dratted translation project. *sighs heavily*

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