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Procrastination :The Thief of Time

Definition of procrastination in short is postponing an impending task to a later time. It is the gap between intention and action. But the truth is that every human being procrastinates, difference being degrees only. Even very successful persons become victims of procrastination at some point of time of their life. So, those chronic procrastinators should not think that they are alone.

Now let us see why people procrastinate regularly or very often. Is it mood disorder ? Our emotions are either positive or negative.

Procrastination stems from our negative emotions. It is something like hijacking our mood. When negative emotions hijack one's mood, one is likely to suffer from a series of negative traits namely fear, laziness, stress, anxiety, irresponsibility, lack of initiatives, low ambition etc. So a person's prime duty is to control his/her mood. If negative mood gets upper-hand, procrastination enters into his/her mind from behind. By nature, people always prefer comfort zones. It is, therefore natural that they resist doing hard work which is why William James once wrote, " Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on an uncompleted task."

Procrastination is your own product. None can be blamed for it. Remember that procrastination is not in your DNA make up nor you have inherited it from parents. As you are the creator of your habit of procrastination, it is you whose responsibility is to eliminate it by being pro-active.

According to Prof Joseph R Ferrari, " Procrastination has physical and economic costs." When a procrastinator suffers from hypertension and cardiovascular problems, it is physical cost. A habitual procrastinator incurs economic losses because of his/

her lethargy and lack of initiatives. When such a person fails to deliver things as per deadlines on time, he/she faces some devastating effect on money front too.

We are to some extent aware of the evil effects of procrastination from our above discussion. Now let us talk about the possible remedies. We begin with the famous saying of eminent writer Charles Dickens which runs as, "My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time."

A few tips, those may be of some help to defeat procrastination is listed below :

1. Have dreams and set self- imposed deadlines. Work diligently to achieve those targets

2. Beginning is important but a little bit difficult. Listening to your mood is delightful at times, but remember that it lies. Practice of meditation may help correct your mood

3. Ensure that your environment remains clean. It has a strong bearing on your mind, mood and action

4. Self-commitment always pays. Commit to yourself

5. You are your hero and boss. Will power backed by strong motive/initiative results in rich dividends

6. Excuses and distractions are your real twin enemies. Overcome both with very strong zeal

7. Follow this attitude : " If they can, so can I"

8. Discipline always matters in a big way. Inculcate the habit of self- discipline

9. If you happen to be a chronic procrastinator, minimize it. Also, control your impulsive behavior

10. Staying online in social media is said to be one of the major causes of procrastination. Try to limit it. Internet ' fuels procrastination and lowers productivity. The internet can be a wonderful tool for productivity but also for distraction'. So rationalize internet use to your advantage.

Above tips are illustrative and not exhaustive.

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Jagat Ch Bora's picture

Writer, retired civil service officer, based in Guwahati.

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