You waited too long, you have innumerous pending tasks, your inbox is full, everything is late, you’re overwhelmed and not quite sure how things got this far. Perhaps it was the late-night Netflix binge or the nap to make up for the lack of sleep, but you’ve managed to put off all of your responsibilities until the last minute. Congratulations! You have successfully procrastinated.

Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is not laziness! Lazy people are unwilling to do work and seem to be completely fine with it. Procrastinators, on the other hand, have the desire to do it; all they lack is the drive to start. In fact it’s a battle between the strong limbic system (pleasure center) and the less developed prefrontal cortex (planning and decision making center) that we are all susceptible to.

This struggle often ends in an unshakable sense of guilt, for which the go-to solution is “chilling”. This coping mechanism is often miscatogorized as plain old laziness.

Procrastinators put off work for a variety of reasons. Some do it for the challenge, some do it out of fear of being judged while others claim they work best under pressure. After all, as a great person once said in an Instagram post, “Wait till the last minute to do your work, because then it only takes you a minute to do it”.

This may seem like a millenial concept, when in fact it has been around for generations. The great Leonardo da Vinci, was a little bit of a day-dreamer at the time. While his contributions to the fields of engineering, architecture, biology, botany, anatomy, math, and physics are invaluable, he never finished a project on time!

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader who travels the world and promotes peace was quite the procrastinator while in school. “Only in the face of a difficult challenge or an urgent deadline would I study and work without laziness”, he recalled. However, having learned the lesson, he now advocates against procrastinating.

While putting off doing your homework or reading a book may turn out to be inconsequential, it may have a humongous impact in the real world. Getting out of your comfort zone is indeed a hard task but is also extremely rewarding.

Although the problem has been identified, there is no sure shot solution to overcome it yet, but there are a few things one can do to get rid of the habit. When working on crucial projects,

  • Have a personal vision: Creating a personal vision is an essential tool that not only helps you in understanding your skills and priorities, but it also helps you focus your effort on the right activities so that you don’t continually switch between tasks.
  • Create a To-Do Today List: A long list of tasks can frustrate us so much that we tend to give up on them completely. Maintaining a to-do today list can help you get the most important and urgent tasks done everyday with ease.
  • Account for emergencies and make room for last minute changes.

Cheers! If you reached this paragraph, this means you have successfully won the battle against procrastination!

Now please go check out our other interesting and informative articles, before it becomes your next procrastination albatross.

Rahul Ekkanath and Vardhah Anees