This long word literally means putting “forward” to “tomorrow”; for it is derived from the Latin word, eras, “tomorrow”, and prefix pro, “before” or “forward.” Of course it is sometimes necessary and wise to postpone a decision or an action, where hasty conclusions would be foolish; but “procrastination” always means putting things off tomorrow which ought to be done today. Everyone procrastinates. We put things off because we don’t want to do them, or because we have too many other things on our plates. Putting things off—big or small—is part of being human. You love the rush of adrenalin you get when you finish a paper ten minutes before it’s due, but you (and your body) are getting tired of pulling all-nighters. You feel okay about procrastinating while in college, but you worry that this habit will follow you into your working life.
Procrastination, if it is not firmly checked, soon grows into bad habit, which at last makes the punctual performance of daily duties impossible. The first reason why procrastination is bad is because the quality of work suffers. Another big problem is that you run out of ideas. At one sitting ideas don’t come as freely as they do over several days. Procrastination also affects the quality of work because your assignments looks hurried and just thrown together.
Another danger that comes with procrastination is an increase in stress. When an assignment is left to the last minute, it lingers in the back of your mind the whole time. Once the day arrives that you must do it, any other plans must be put on hold. You end up being frustrated and upset with yourself, and the teacher. If several assignments are due at the same time the stress increases even more. Not only do you have to rush to get everything done, you have to worry about whether you’ll get it finished in time. Stress also increases when you procrastinate because you start to doubt yourself. When you make up your mind that you won’t leave the next assignment until the last minute, and you end up doing it, you get frustrated and upset with yourself.
The last and most important reason is because you learn poor work habits. As you further your education you will no longer be able to leave things to the last minute. When you make excuses to put off assignments, you learn to make excuses for other things as well. This is a bad pattern to get into, you start to realize that you won’t get it done early so why bother trying. Once you start to doubt yourself, your self-confidence drops and all kinds of other problems start to happen.
If you think you are a hopeless procrastinator, take heart! No one is beyond help. The fact that you procrastinate does not mean that you are inherently lazy or inefficient. It is a habit that has some specific origin, and it is a habit that you can overcome. For most procrastinators, however, there are no quick fixes. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and never procrastinate again. You may not be surprised to learn that procrastinators tend to be self-critical. So, as you consider your procrastination and struggle to develop different work habits, try to be gentle with yourself.
The lazy man says, “Never do to-day what you can put off till to-morrow.” But the wise and busy man takes as his motto the old proverb, “Never put off till to-morrow what you can do today.” And the man who systematically clears off the work that belongs to each day as it comes, not only avoids the mental burden of unperformed duties, but is also the only man who knows true leisure. For at the end of the day, he can spend what time remains in recreation and enjoyment with a clear conscience, knowing he is well ahead with his work.
So we should take as our motto, “Do it now!”
FYI, I am the biggest procrastinator….hi !!