It is customary to compare the flow of time with the flow of the river. Indeed, the comparison is perfectly justified. There is no stopping the onward motion of the flowing waters. Similarly, the progress of time cannot be checked; it goes on relentlessly without considering what it does to the men of the world.
It is also said that lost wealth can be got back; lost health can be restored, but lost time is lost forever. Time does not wait for anybody, so if one cannot catch up with it, one has to suffer.
Remembering, that time is an ever-moving phenomenon which knows no rest or respite, men should work hard and make full use of the time at hand. By wasting time they would only land themselves in distress. Life is really very short and the time at our disposal should never be misused.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is another term for laziness. It is the act of delaying or postponing something to be done at a later time. We usually procrastinate a work when we do not do want to do it or feel it’s too hard for us. So we shift it to a later time.
And this keeps on happening and the work keeps on delaying. Hence the work finally stays unfinished and incomplete. Hence we can rightly say procrastination is the thief of time. The time lost we can never get back. It is gone forever. Doing the work again is wastage of time afresh.
We might have major plans and ideas in our mind. But without changing them into reality we cannot achieve anything. Many people have creative minds. They device many things which could have made lives easier but some of them suffered with this disease of procrastination. Hence the work was never done, the feat never achieved.
There is a saying in the Hindu mythology that Ravana had thought of making stairs to heaven. He wanted to connect earth and heaven through those stairs with the powers that he got. But every time he thought of doing so he thought that there’s still lot of time, and he can do the work next day. And that next day never came. He ultimately died and the stairs to heaven were never built.
This is just a mythology but habit of procrastination is widespread. It exists in every individual varying in content mostly. Some have more of this habit and some have less. Clever are those people who get their work done on time without falling into the greedy traps of procrastination.
Sometimes the urge to put up with something unpleasant like homework or calling to make a doctor’s appointment is just too strong to resist even though we know that we have to do that eventually, we feel that pressure build up. Procrastination affects all of us.
Scientific explanation for procrastination
However Procrastination is far more Complex than just laziness or bad time management. How is work from a psychological point of view it might be completely different case. A neuropsychologist might call it is failure of Executive function for how you plan ahead and prioritize things.
Social psychologist on the other hand might see it is a problem related to emotional regulation for trying to avoid bad feelings like stress. And evolution is a psychologist might think it to be a partly genetic problem.
According to many studies scientists have found that procrastination might even be a part of our evolutionary makeup. The scientists also suggested an evolutionary reason why Procrastination and impulsive behaviour might be linked. Early human life is mainly focused on short term survival.
Our ancestors who prioritised short term goals (like finding food for the day), making rash decisions and putting of things could have been better at surviving and then they must have been passed down some of their behavioural traits to their future generation through the DNA.
How is revolved Men today is more focused on long term goals like retirement and investment how is revolved Men today is more focused on long term goals like retirement and returns of long term investment both in terms of money and life.
In today’s world however Procrastination is usually the result of an attempt to avoid bad feelings like stress or unpleasantness of the task itself. There is one part of the brain which is purely instinctual called the limbic system. It’s responsible for your emotions, flight or fight reactions, fear, survival, etc which are related to keeping us alive.
There is another part of our brain which is a bit visor and more rational which is responsible for our self evaluation, ambition and goals. This part is called the prefrontal cortex. The thing about Procrastination is that the instinctual part of the brain tells us to keep of the word for a later time and let it go.
The rational part however is very slow in thinking whether the work should be done or not and that period of thinking is the time we lose in procrastination. The worst part about this is the brain is designed to later feel guilty about it making us feel more terrible about the time we have lost.
If we procrastinate then our work will only get delayed and we will never have enough time to get that work done. There can be some emergency situations in which we can be seriously unable to do some work, suppose if someone falls ill or gets and injury.
At those times carrying out a task is quite difficult and hence such an event can be excused. But in the events in which we are fit and fine but still we are running away from our duties, that attitude can be called cowardice rather than laziness.
Thus, we have to follow a kind of ‘give and take’ policy. Respect time and time will respect you. Cheat on it and it will strike you back with a blow so hard that it will be difficult for you to stand.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless, you can’t own it but you can use it, you can’t keep it but you can spend it, but once you have lost you can never get it back”.