Are you a natural procrastinator? If yes, then you are my kind of person. You can empathize with me. In fact, you can relate to the way I approach my day to day activities. Believe me, there is an invisible thread that binds all procrastinators together. The procrastinator’s approach to life is totally different from that of a non-procrastinator and this is no exaggeration.
Have you ever faced trouble meeting deadlines? We’ve all had to do those project submissions in college. For people like us, who like to leave things for the end, adhering to deadlines is like World War minus the bloodshed. But what is it that unites all procrastinators? In his record smashing TED talk, Tim Urban elucidates why people procrastinate. Let us take a look into the minds of these incorrigible souls who can never be trusted.
For long, psychologists have analyzed the minds of these two kinds of people: the people who get things done well within time and the ones who procrastinate. Structurally of course both the kinds of brains are the same, except that the procrastinator has a little monkey in his brain that says, “I know I should work but I don’t feel like working. Sorry”. And that monkey hovers from place to place, everywhere possible except the place of work where he should have been. So if there’s a thesis I need to write, I would first check out on my facebook updates, then read an interesting article on Vice News and then go to youtube to watch the AIB video I’ve already watched 5 times and finally when I’m done, it’s too late already. “Sorry, no work today, bro”, says the monkey.
The procrastinator monkey lives completely in the present and does things that are only EASY and FUN. It is oblivious of the past and the future, of deadlines and goals. For procrastinators this monkey is in control of the brain, which makes life a little hard for him. A lot of time is spent in inactivity and finally when that is realized, common procrastinator feelings like remorse, self-pity, frustration and guilt occur.
However, the procrastinator is able to get things done too. Life is hard for him but somehow things do work. It appears that the procrastinator monkey is afraid of a Panic Monster. This panic monster emerges whenever the deadline draws perilously near or existential crises come into the picture. This is precisely why, in spite of not having written a single sentence in the entire term, I can write a 100 page thesis in 3 days. The panic monster scares the monkey away and the rational self takes charge.
Procrastination surprisingly has certain benefits too! Since these people don’t work until the last minute, they do a lot of work under very small time frames. Procrastinators are thus likely to be highly creative. This is not to glorify procrastination. It has more downs than ups and hampers productivity. So let us, the incorrigible procrastinators, take an oath and start working on our goals and deadlines TODAY.
Well, on second thoughts, maybe not TODAY. But sometime soon. Cheers!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.