A thief of time within, by Hafsat Salisu Kabara
Over the last couple of weeks, I made researches, sent out questionnaires, did surveys and took notes on a topic I had wanted to write about for this column, but as it is often with me, procrastination got the better of me when it was time to do the actual writing and before I knew it, the weekend was here again, the publisher was on my neck to send my column for the week.
Therefore, I preferred to wait a week or two to pen down my researched topic, and decided to write about the reason for this delayed piece, which has been a weakness for me and many other millions of individuals – PROCRASTNATION.
The time we spend on Earth is both limited and finite. In light of these facts, time is the most valuable commodity you have. It’s not money; unlike time, you can borrow money, save, or earn more. You can’t do that with time. Every single second you waste is gone forever.
The mere realization that life is finite leads people to begin managing their time more carefully. It makes you think about how you would ideally like to spend your time on Earth. Managing your time without the creep of procrastination is virtually an impossible thing and for me and people like me, it’s more than impossible.
It’s no surprise when I bumped into a recent study stating that people regret more the things they haven’t done than they have done. In addition, feelings of regret and guilt resulting from these missed opportunities tend to stay with people much longer. Nothing defines my often procrastinative situation more than the above summation.
Procrastination is one of the main barriers blocking you from getting up, making the right decisions, and living the dream life you’ve thought of, the study added.
In today’s column, we are going to be conquering this beast and unleashing the shackles of procrastination and true productivity potential.
Fellow procrastinators, it is our nature as humans to choose immediate rewards over long-term satisfaction. Procrastinators often put off doing things, leave them to the very last moment, or sometimes even spend their time staring at the wall. However be careful, procrastination is not a synonym for laziness.
Lazy people simply don’t do anything and are just fine with it. Procrastinators, on the other hand, have the desire to actually do something but can’t force themselves to start at the right time.
It’s a good idea to start using the word procrastination instead of using the term laziness or putting things off. It provides a much more accurate description of your situation. Only by giving the right name to your problem can you begin working on it. Don’t confuse procrastination with relaxation either. Procrastinators justify their actions by claiming that they are most productive under pressure, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. This old saying hits the nail on the head.
And this brings us to the two types of procrastination: Active and Passive procrastination.
Passive procrastination is when you postpone important activities to doing nothing or something of no value. Let’s take for instance surfing through the Obasanjo internet, gallivanting the streets of Instagram from one blog to the other, feeding your curiosity with the happenings in the lives of celebrities while you have a deadline to meet.
Active procrastination is delaying important tasks to doing less important things. Both have more negative impacts than positive ones.
You can overcome procrastination and be more organized with some tips but you need to understand how it runs, Understanding the reason why you procrastinate might be that your brain seeks immediate gratification or do you enjoy last-minute panic.
Fear of failure leads to procrastination in which you don’t know how well you can do that task without trying. The fear of success, taking a step back. There are people who are afraid of their achievements. Can they handle it when they get there? The perfectionist, those who think it always has to be perfect. they have to always get things right so there is no need to start things early.
To tackle this thief of time, we need to understand the reason why we procrastinate, and to help with this, You have to examine yourself and have a meeting with yourself. To consider which direction you would like to heed in life and to think about what you can improve even further. During your meetings, you can focus on long-term planning and the overall retrospective of your personal growth.
Learn new habits. If we make a habit of doing something, its implementation requires less mental energy to do it. Understand what motivates you, and you will be able to maintain your discipline and make the most out of each day. Long to-do lists tend to pile on, and this leads to procrastination, instead have a list of “To do today”
The To-do Today method is there to help you get the most important and urgent tasks done every day, while also helping you prioritize the work on your schedule and limit new tasks. With dedication and practice, we can overcome our procrastination tendencies in life and have more productive lives. We are humans, we can’t do away with procrastination completely but we should work on it and procrastinate at a minimal. Don’t go and procrastinate your destiny.
Reflect on your procrastination patterns. Set some specific clear goals- long and short-term goals. Break them down to be able to achieve them. Find your WHY as a motivation to keep you going.
Fellow procrastinators, progress is a progress, no matter how little, don’t beat yourself to it but remember, ‘while wasting our time hesitating and procrastinating, life goes on.”
Kabara, is a writer and public commentator. Her syndicated column, Voice, appears on News Point Nigeria newspaper on Mondays.
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