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eduregard essay contest 2017
15 Oct 2017

PROCRASTINATION, a deep and wide disease in a moral nature

Procrastination is a thief of precious brilliant ideas and time, an enemy of progress. It is the irrational delay of creativity against your own best interest for a short or extended period, making you more sensitive to pleasure of the moment, and creating great difficulty in concentrating on long-term tasks. The beauty of procrastination is its ubiquity. Everyone procrastinates from time to time, but not everyone is a procrastinator. It is a decision to not act; the real reasons – impulsiveness, hating the task, distraction and failing to plan. People procrastinate on important tasks by doing the unimportant ones. When tasks are left to the last moment, you can get sick, emergencies do happen, and work takes longer than thought, and as for the very bad outcomes resulting from your procrastination, imagine the worst. Delay makes bad things happen. Why not you? It is a disease that has eaten wide and deep into our moral standard which requires immediate and diligent actions. It is not our fault but, nonetheless, we still have to deal with it.

Procrastination has its personal price; it makes us miss, lose and suffer. It is capable of damaging all aspects of our life, causing grief, at school, at work, and in our private lives especially in relation to our wealth, health and happiness. No matter the measure attained, procrastinators perform worse. For instance, secondary school and universities students, about 40% of those that procrastinate have above-average grades, while 60% are below. Those of the lucky 40% recognize that though procrastination is a handicap, compensates it with other attributes like a brilliant mind. Do not fall into the trap of thinking it helps you out. Not that I should judge…. I put off study for too many tests and assignments, and tried erasing my late start by doing series of all-nighters for the examinations, a strategy that ended with me having just above-average grades. We all have similar story to share. Worse, this trend does not weaken when the stakes get raised. It is a major reason most potential PhD’s do not graduate ending up with 3 little letters after their names, ABD (All But Dissertation). Here is a specific illustration for procrastination:

You have just put off a major project, one you thought you had ample time for. Rather than getting to the task, you are doing other less important work, surfing the Internet, watching TV, chatting with friends and relatives on the social media – Procrastinating. Finally, the moment comes when you can no longer delay it and though it will be stressful, you should be able to handle it – except you just came down with a pulsating headache. Given all the extra time you had to deal with the project, you cannot use it as a justification without looking lazy and incompetent. You begin working on it, but the headache gets worse and worse, like a migraine. You are producing absolutely nothing valuable despite the excruciating pain as you try to work. As your eyes almost tear up with agony, you take some pain-killers only to find out it makes you sleepy and indeed, you do sleep. Waking up, it is already morning, and you are late for work. You rush to get there, and found that your boss has decided to gather all your colleagues in the boardroom for your presentation. The Managing Director of your company stops by and decides to listen in too. Being late, you rush to the podium and everyone awaits you to get started. As you try to explain you have accomplished nothing because of the headache, you stumble over your words and look like an utter fool. There is a long silence broken only by a few snickers, with your colleagues looking away and embarrassed to be associated with you. Afterwards, your boss discloses that she was thinking of promoting you, but now she will have to fire you instead – what you have done is inexcusable. One of the people at the meeting recorded your presentation with their mobile phone and posted it on YouTube, Face book, and other social networks, where people everywhere mock you. No one in your industry will even give you an interview and your career is ruined.

You can change the scenario to fit your situation, making it suit your specific distractions.

The impact of procrastination intensifies a little bit coming down to career success. Job hunting in a harsh economy such as we live in, is humbling – and humiliating – and tests you to the very core. As rejections and months of unemployment add up, the uncertainty which gnaws at you makes you doubt who you are. From the onset, procrastinators have trouble getting going. They delay job hunt or acquire skills that can earn them profit. When unemployed, they stay that way much longer. Once employed, most realize that work is more unforgiving than university.

Furthermore, on overall wealth, it is on a high side, affecting your bank balances, hitting your savings and spending in many ways. It does not just diminish your wealth by decreasing the time of your productivity; it also reduces benefits gained from the productivity. Wealth is not only determined by the money you make, but also by the money you save. Saving is a true path to riches. The more you safe, the more compound your interest. Saving does not just only help you, it helps the nation as a whole through your investments, thereby stimulating economic expansion. Too bad procrastinators seldom put money away for retirement or even a rainy day, playing the character of the grasshopper instead of the ant. This leads them borrowing excessively and putting off great ideas and planning. This can lead to financial ruin.

For most diseases, infections, growths and general ailments, early detection and treatment is always better, and yet people consistently delay. Given this lead, procrastinators tend to be among the least healthy people. To rub salt into the sand, not only do they only less likely pursue treatment, they indulge more in the very behaviour that create the need for treatment. They tend to do a little more smoking, excessive alcohol use, drug abuse, recklessness, fighting, amongst the likes; than a little less. They tap into procrastinators’ impulsiveness, making gratification the only thing they do not delay. If you presently partake in even half of these vices, you are not exactly a poster child for a healthy lifestyle. Odds are, your choices will catch up with you.

Finally, if procrastinators tend to be less wealthy and healthy, they are likely going to be less happy too. And they are. Partly due to stress of procrastination which gives rise to guilt. Inaction causes us the greater suffering. Not to have done, not to have tried, to have put it off. Looking back on our lives, we feel we should have gone for that degree, tried harder in class, learned some entrepreneurial skills, mustered up the courage and risked rejection for that date, made up time for that phone call or loved one. Occasionally, we are haunted by the ghost of our own lost possible selves – what we might have been: could have, should have, but did not. It reveals a lapse of character and lack of virtue.

Unfortunately for procrastination, its pervasiveness makes it an obvious target. Ever tried writing in a strip club? It is extraordinarily difficult. Why? You have motivationally polluted your mind and thoughts with distractions. Distractions are major enablers of procrastination. Taking advantage of the adage “out of sight, out of mind”, identify these distractions and its cues and cleanse them to discourage unwanted interruptions. Delete any Internet site/games hot-linked on your mobile phones/computer. Make plans and set goals, breaking them into manageable bits that occur regularly at same time and place. Create a specific finish line, schedule it soon and always keep track of your productivity. Most people choose careers that sap their motivation right from the start; let your passion be your vocation. By mastering how you spend money, work on saving more and investing it, and always, appreciate your handwork by rewarding yourself after completing a task. Above all, to diligently take the above necessary steps to move forward, you need to first admit you procrastinate and make a decision to stop it. Recognize you have the problem and make a decision to take immediate action. A little action- cure to procrastination. Let us therefore, utterly drive from us our bad habits as if they were evil men who have long tormented us.


112 Responses

  1. Adedoyin wura

    Can you tell me more about this procrastination of a thing? I seem to be having interest in it. It’s a very interesting topic.

  2. Abiola Folorun

    When I delay a task, and it’s taking time for me to do it, I’ll be like, kilode, what is wrong with me. But after reading this write up, I can control and manage my time very well. Kudos

  3. Adeparusi Blessing

    Sometimes I just wonder if there was really anything like procrastination, not that I haven’t heard about the word, I just don’t fully understand it. But the having read this and researched more, I now fully understand what a devil and disease it is. Please admin, you need to upload this on net, so people can read it and know the reasons behind their delaying habits and ways to control it. And just like the illustration in the write up, it could happen to anybody and many other situations. Thank you.

  4. Mrs Akomolafe

    True. The rate at which students procrastinate is quite alarming. Now a days, student wait till the dying minutes to get assignments done. Some may not even remember, and when they eventually do, they do what? “COPY AND PASTE”. It is a lack of decadence among our students. When they do graduate, they hardly get jobs because they can’t defend it, and then they blame it on the government. It’s high time we put more interest on this because if nothing is done to control it or even curb it finally, our educational system is on the crumble.

  5. Emmyx

    Lol, it’s really funny. In a process of trying to avoid a very difficult assignment, I decided to while away time surfing the net. Lol and behold I stumbled over this site, and now this topic. Looks like God is sending me a message. Lol

  6. Pastor

    Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment – Robert Benchley. Sometimes, we think games fuel procrastinationn. Not only do games, but also anything such as notifications from our emails, friends requests and comments on social media etc.

  7. Mr Adewale

    It happens to every person, governments inclusive. They have a bad habit of spending more than they receive, making them go deeply into debts.

  8. Sparks

    When we delay a particular thing, getting back to it is quite difficult. Sometimes, we don’t even get back to it at all. It’s really a fatal situation.

  9. Steve

    When we tend to delay a task, distractions come in, and sometimes, we just forget about the task at that particular moment. But when we finally come back to our senses and realize that the deadline is at hand, we rush things and eventually make mistakes which leave us regreting for the rest of our lives. Though sometimes, delay to the last moments can be can be useful and effective if managed well. Then we must have thought of several ways and had several options that we can use to deal or tackle that particular task. But still, it’s better not to leave tasks to the 11th hour, than to and eventually regret it. Nicely written article.

  10. Noble

    For some people, procrastination is more than a bad habit; it’s a sign of a serious underlying health issue. For example, ADHD , OCD, anxiety, and depression are associated with procrastination. It is indeed a disease and kills faster than any know disease.

  11. Noble

    Research suggests that procrastination can be a cause of serious stress and illness. So, if you suffer from chronic or debilitating procrastination, one of these conditions could be to blame, and you should seek the advice of a trained professional.

  12. MSparks

    Research suggests that procrastination can be a cause of serious stress and illness. So, if you suffer from chronic or debilitating procrastination, one of these conditions could be to blame, and you should seek the advice of a trained professional.

  13. Boboye

    You might be putting off a task because you’ve had to re-prioritize your workload. If you’re briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren’t necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are, and it could take quite a time to get back to that thing, now it will be so difficult and stressful.

  14. Dr. Chima

    Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, according to research, 95% of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can be sobering to realize just how much it can hold you back. This write up discusses on its causes, effects, and strategies for managing and prioritizing. Nicely written. Kudo

  15. Kingley

    Procrastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different. It is an irrational delay by us not to do work. Our unwillingness to do a particular task at that particular moment

  16. Don pedro

    If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases, just as the writer explained. It makes us lose and suffer.

  17. Dr. Lizzy

    If you’re procrastinating because you find a task unpleasant, try to focus on the “long term task”. Impulsive people are more likely to procrastinate because they are focused on short-term gain. Combat this by identifying the long-term benefits of completing the task.

  18. Michael_Young

    I love this article on procrastination! I think procrastination is a big problem for most of us. In one psychology study I read about, over 70 percent of college students identified themselves as procrastinators. And I’ve read other studies showing that procrastinators tend not only to be less happy, but also to have more stress, less sound sleep, and an impaired immune system!

    I’ve also discovered and used a powerful anti-procrastination technique that I call the “mini steps” approach, where we commit to only a minute version of the task we’re avoiding (such as writing a single page, or doing 3 exercise repetitions). Surprisingly often, doing a mini step dissolves our resistance and bypasses our fear, effortlessly leading us to complete our long-postponed task. Harvard instructor Tal Ben-Shahar said that this approach is the single most important technique to emerge from research on procrastination. For the ultimate in motivation, we can also track the “chain” or “streak” of days on which we’ve completed all our mini steps.

  19. Pato

    Better organization and time management are the keys to breaking procrastination. Like any habit, it takes commitment and perseverance to change your behavior. I’m glad, this article was really helpful. Thank you

  20. Luchi

    Thank you for this article. In a workplace where I worked many years ago, some of the workers would joke that, “…I’m too busy to procrastinate. I’ll get to it tomorrow!” Generally when we procrastinate, we are telling our minds that ‘it’ is not important. Sometimes we can procrastinate so much that we actually ignore the task.

  21. Student1234

    Thanks to your essay, I have tremendously improved all my grades, like you will not believe it. I used to think “I’ll just do it later” and then even after that it would never could get done. Now I can focus on whats important.

  22. Bel

    Thanks for the article. For me it has definitely reached that stage. Trying to break it, but it’s really not easy. Taking my mind off instead of facing the tasks that make me anxious is like a decade old habit… I’ve already tried a lot of the steps mentioned in here and to a degree they work, but it’s still really hard.

  23. Mirel

    Thanks for the article. For me it has definitely reached that stage. Trying to break it, but it’s really not easy. I’ve already tried a lot of the steps mentioned in here and they have been working, but it’s still really hard.

  24. Llia

    Talking about procrastination, I’ve been struggling with mine for the last 10 years and read countless books and self help methods. Here is what I’m having best results with. First of all, procrastination bulldozer method has worked wonders for me. I highly recommend you apply it. Secondly, whenever you have a task that takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it right away. No delays. I’m really starting to take control of my life now.

  25. OlaT

    Good afternoon, Thank you for such an interesting topic. I have been applying these skills and the new things you’ve taught me through your article to my every day living. Thanks I’ve found that being organizing gives me a clearer picture on my life.

    1. Chiazoka

      You are welcome OlaT, I’m glad you found some of the ideas useful, to helping you overcome procrastination. Do not relent on your perseverance.

  26. King

    We all procrastinate at times, especially with tasks that we do not enjoy doing. The key is not to allow procrastination to become a habit that prevents you from achieving your goals or reach your full potential. When procrastination reaches this stage, it is time to break the habit.

    1. Chiazoka

      Hi Natasha, it is true everyone has different ways to approach it, but the key is first admitting we procrastinate and doing something about it.

  27. George

    It is unfortunate when people do not like the job they have. This in turn can lead, as you pointed out, to procrastination and sloppy work and then finally to losing the job. When you realize you are procrastinating, developing strategies to overcome it is very essential!

    1. Chiazoka

      Thanks for your comment George, it is a great tip and I’m sure it will help others get rid of sloppiness. Also, let your passion be your vocation.

  28. Corper george

    I Totaly agree on all to this article and it is going to really help people and It did help me as well,but some people just don’t like the job they have. I have been in jobs that I hate or i have been depreved to realize my potential and I end up procrastinating or just end up doing a sloppy work because i am not happy. Let our passion be our vocation.

    1. Chiazoka

      Hello Corper George, thanks for your comment. Just like you said, let our passion be our vocation. In that way, we’ll avoiding even the slightest of sloppiness and also realize our potentials.

  29. Nondeus

    Procrastination is all about being afraid to take control of what you need to do. Simply most people are afraid to do what they are supposed to out of fear. Not knowing the outcome or knowing it too well causes you to keep pushing tasks aside. Recently I read something similar regarding procrastination, that does cover my opinion on the matter in a time tracking blog. Since lots of my colleagues had problems with procrastination (and who does not) the managers decided to use time tracking. However, learning self-control and personal time management is the only way out of this circle, more discipline using different tools and devices is advisable, but will not help without overcoming that psychological barrier.

    1. Chiazoka

      Hello Nondeus, yes it is true, one of the root causes of procrastination is also fear of failure. Procrastination is a habit that requires time and perseverance to break that physiological barrier.

  30. Chaa Edwards

    I cant believe that I have been procrastinating this whole time and thanks to this article. I have files that I failed to attend simply because the job is boring and forgetting the impact of not addressing them. Now that I am aware, I will make a conscious decision to deal with them urgently.

    1. Chiazoka

      Hi Chaa Edwards, I’m glad this essay has put a name to what you’ve been experiencing. We can all procrastinate for one reason or another from time to time. The key is to recognizing and admitting we do it and then doing something about it.

  31. Elysium

    I was wandering hopelessly of what was going on with me lately. I was’nt even aware of this ‘procrastinating’ word, which describes my laziness. Well, i feel fortunate now that i read this article, the solution to my problem. Thank you guys.

    1. Chiazoka

      You are most welcome Elysium. I am glad this essay has put a name to what you have been experiencing. Good news is, procrastination is a habit that can be broken

  32. Jay

    This is a subject that’s close to my heart. Besides just not being able to get things done in time, there’s a big downside to failing to act at the appropriate time, and such neglect can often have financial implications although they may not be immediately apparent.

    Going a step further, if we were to put ourselves in the ‘action’ mode and take up one task after the other, we’ll find that the seemingly endless pile of work can be completed after all. Brian Tracy’s ‘Eat That Frog’ makes great reading, and can be an easy to use handbook for anyone who’s facing the procrastination problem. It tells us in simple steps how to get started on prioritising and tackling the tougher tasks (which have the maximum impact) first, so that it becomes a habit, so we can get on top of things rather than be overwhelmed by what’s remaining to be done.

  33. Babayemi Ty

    From personal experience what I found significant was to set very small and achievable goals that I was able to accomplish on a daily basis. As I experienced success getting the work done it was motivating and I started to feel that I really could manage my time effectively. What also helped was the Action Program tool that I learned here. Basically what you do is catalog your projects and list all the tasks (in a prioritized sequence) that need to be completed to complete each one. Then you bring forward the tasks that you need to complete that day and you have a to do list that is already prioritized and you set yourself up to complete all the tasks that day. I think if you type action program into the search bar you’ll find the tool and you can read all about it. I strongly suggest you check it out. It was one of the most powerful tools I’ve encountered and it helped stop my procrastinating ways. I do still slip up every now and then but now I am confident I can get back on track quickly! Thank you.

  34. Theodore

    This passage proves to be knowledgeable on the subject. The steps show and tell you how, why and what to do for procrastinating. The key is as the reading suggest you have to have first realize you do it, self discipline and determination.

  35. Joyce

    My grades have gratefully improved after putting into practise the steps, from 60% to 80%, thanks to your useful details on how to break procrastination. Though it was not easy but, I’ll continue to persevere and work towards it. Thank you.

  36. Romanus O.

    Well I am a procrastinator who tends to always go for entertainment over work. I am still a student and over the past years my grades have dropped from high 90s to high 70s. I am in ss3 and I need good grades to get into a good university. I am never able to study. Games, shows, books and any sort of entertainment takes me off my tasks easily. How do I overcome this?

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