If you’re a procrastinator like me, then you’ve probably put off a project till it was almost deadline. Time after time of doing this, maybe you think you’ve perfected the art of procrastination, since you seem to always meet the deadline. Well, I’m not here to encourage that thought.
Deadlines keep everyone in check, even procrastinators. Unlike every other person, though, procrastinators fail to spread out the workload, and would instead cram all the work into a fraction of the stipulated time. Of course, there is always the high risk of not meeting the deadline, but there are those who manage to make it nonetheless. The more we get away with procrastination, the less likely we are to drop the habit. Naturally, someone who has failed to meet deadlines will be forced to better manage their time. This is not so with a person who manages to make it just in the nick of time. If anything, there’s only the tendency to become addicted to that adrenaline rush and the loud sound of tick-tock in the head. The truth is that this last-minute panic mode leaves us stressed and fatigued. And even when we are able to meet deadlines, we risk growing into a state of despair.
Tim Urban, in a Ted Talk, explained how procrastination can leave you frustrated, even when you seem to get away with it everytime. He’s made correspondence with several persons who, despite being procrastinators, are successful in their field. According to Tim, even though these professionals seem to cope well in their fields, they sound “frustrated”, and appear to be “in a dark place”. This is because we do not factor the fact that life itself has a deadline. While in our work, we are given stipulated time to complete projects, our personal projects remain unfulfilled because we can’t see beyond the horizon of a few years. On the long run, procrastination will leave a person with regrets, even if they’re successful in their careers. The gloom and unhappiness are compounded by the low self-will that’s developed after years and years of procrastination. Everytime we opt to satisfy our desire for instant gratification instead of doing important work, we discover that our self-will dwindles. This may not be immediately evident, especially when we’re doing okay in our workplace, but there are other aspects in our lives that’d get the brunt of it.
There are many procrastinators who hide under the popular saying that “everyone procrastinates”. However, this does not mean that everyone is a procrastinator. And when you’re a ‘successful procrastinator’, the dangers involved may never appear evident until it is too late. Therefore, we ought to put more effort into spreading out our workload to fit in properly into the stipulated time. This would definitely help in the accomplishment of life goals for which we can’t input a deadline. The point is that we can’t afford to give in to the habit of procrastination, even if we think we’re getting away with it. Therefore, let’s keep up with those self-help tips that abound on the internet, and learn better to manage our emotions. This is because, the inability to manage our feelings is one of the main reason why we procrastinate in the first place. Our self-help tips include—but are not limited to—the following: developing a reward system for getting work done in time; becoming less of a perfectionist; creating a to-do-list; getting reminded of work. Like all other habits, procrastination is difficult to beat. Hence, it requires determination and constant search for help on our part.