Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, April 21st, 2018

The Pros And Cons of Procrastination

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The Pros And Cons of Procrastination

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impeding tasks to a later time. Sometimes procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. It can take hold on any aspect of life – putting off doing the chores of home, submitting a job report, not honoring a promise, or not doing what one’s have to do which all can lead to problems such as stress, difficulties in relationships and so on. One of the reasons why we are not able to manage our time effectively is procrastination. Postponement is the habit of putting off doing an important accountability, but then becoming involved with a less important task. We put off working on the things which are absolutely necessary to be done because it seems difficult, or it will take too much time, or because not in the mood, or feel too tired to do it, we are procrastinating. On the other hand, we all do it at times: we put off doing things until later. Whether or not this is harmful, and the degree of the harm, depends on the circumstances. It is a complex issue. For some people, procrastination is a habitual coping behavior triggered by a deeply felt need or fear, making it extremely tenacious and hard to get rid of. In its more extreme forms, procrastination can eventually lead to personal disaster of one kind or another, and for these people the solution lies in uncovering procrastination’s roots – usually through psychological counseling or therapy. For many other people procrastination raises its head only occasionally, and may be related to poor organizational habits, inattention, or relying too much on a memory that’s not quite up to the demands being put on it. For these people the solution may simply be better time management and personal organization.
Procrastination is clearly a thicket; how to make way out of it? In examining our own ‘put-it-off-till-later-behavior,’ we first need to ask if putting it off makes rational sense. Sometimes putting things off is totally appropriate when there is a good chance for doing the task in hand. In other words, waiting also makes sense in situations where the best course of action has not yet become clear. Furthermore, we tend to think of procrastination as being a bad thing but it can also be a good thing. The procrastinator may not be able to accomplish something on that time or he is unable to make a decision about their work or business, might just make the right decision for them at that time. Sometimes, by putting off small things we can achieve big things, the things that we really want to. In such situations we sometimes come across the opposite of procrastination. There are people who get very upset by uncertainty, and sometimes these people prematurely undertake a course of action just to ease their uncomfortable feelings. Bothered by not knowing, and by lack of action, they charge too soon, and sometimes get themselves in as much trouble as habitual procrastinators do.
In countering procrastination, it should be decided that whether the task in important enough to do now. Is it worth sacrificing short-term pleasure for long term benefits? If the task is important then the immediate desire of putting off doing the work in hand will be replaced with the ultimate goal of completing the work with a good record. It does not help to wait until you are in the right mood for working. A good strategy is to just start doing the thing for an hour less or more even if we do not feel like it. Once we become involved with the task, it is easier to continue. Break the task into smaller and more manageable bits. A large project of assignment can be divided into a sequence of smaller tasks and activities that can be completed one by one. This will create good habits and bring us into a routine of working on a regular basis. Otherwise, delaying things for the other time keeps us from doing the urgent work. It tells us that instead of doing it now we can do another time. It tells us there is always tomorrow. It say that just because we are ignoring this task again and again does not mean we have quit. Therefore, procrastination is one of the greatest enemies to producing meaningful work. Because not only does postponing keep us from doing the work, but in so doing, it also robs us from the process of sitting down every day to be creative. It is in the day-to-day mundane and difficult work of showing up and doing the job that our ideas take shape and take flight. It’s in that place that skills are forged bit by bit. The path to success (both in career and in accomplishing life goals) is rarely glamorous. It’s usually mundane and repetitive. Underachievers will waste their time daydreaming about when their big break will come while they procrastinate doing work they do not see as important. Meanwhile, true achievers will do the work, day in day out, with vision and strategy.  
So, you should change your prospective and do the thing that you are putting off first. If you have a big task to do – set yourself a goal and break it down into small ones and achievable chunks. Take account of the sort of person you are and go on according to your values and expectations. Besides, give your time and attention to the things which are most important. That’s a choice you can choose each day, not a state of being you have to strive forward. You can do the works that matters. By not procrastinating you are going to build momentum in your personal integrity and can establish habits that stick, bring healthy balance between work and personal life. By focusing and doing the priorities life becomes more pleasant and enjoyable since living life by doing and concentrating on the vital things that are significant in day-to-day life.

Ahmad Shah Karimi is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at ahmadshah.karimi12@gmail.com

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