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     Volume 8 Issue 82 | August 14, 2009 |

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The Snare of Procrastination!

Tulip Chowdhury

A man's habits are said to be second to his nature. A man who is a procrastinator is very unlikely to change his habit of putting off things for indefinite tomorrows even if he has to pay a very high price for it. Old habits die-hard. A procrastinator will never do today what can be put off till tomorrow. The habit of putting off things becomes ingrained into his habits.

Mr. Khan, a librarian thinks that fate always leaves him behind time and opportunity.

“ I seldom seem to get the desired results of my actions.” he says.

Mrs. Khan seems to know why things are so unsatisfactory with Mr.Khan.

“How can he get his desired goals when he never does things at the right time?" she remarks, "He puts off things till the last minute and sometimes never gets to doing them at all!”

Nowadays life is so hectic with a million things to do each day. One always seems to have more to do than one can handle. A visit to the hospital to see an ailing aunt, letters to write, a garage to be cleaned and above all there is the office looming like an indomitable wall. With all these things listed down to be done the wiser folk chalk out a routine that agrees with their time. But a procrastinator like Mr. Khan puts off things to an uncertain future. He is a man who lives on borrowed time. It is his habit to put off things for tomorrow. For him the saying, “Never put off things that can be done today” holds an empty meaning.

“I'll see my aunt tomorrow” or “The garage can be cleaned next Friday” says Mr. Khan and others like him. However the remarkable thing about their planning is that the “tomorrow's visit to the aunt' may come after she passes away. And the garage is left to be cleaned till it is stuffed to the ceiling and the car has to be left outside. For some other procrastinators the tomorrows never come at all!

Life whirls like a wheel. People find themselves juggling between home and office. Office, home, kids and their school and then endless social obligations. It is not at all easy to balance home and family and do well at both. The beginnings of the months come with hundreds of bills to be paid and the fees for the kid's school cannot wait either. The procrastinator decides to pay the school fees after the last date of the payment is over and the bills too get to be paid after the due dates. The result is paying off the fines and the late fees too. Delayed payments take off and add up to a lot when it is done round the year! This is not all. The wife explodes with fury when the procrastinator husband comes home without the diamond set he promised last year. At the office the boss gives the ultimatum for the pending files! The children no longer trust the father as the promised toys are so late in finding their way home.

Procrastinators are often victims of sleepless nights. Pending work riddles the sleep with nightmares. According to researchers, people who put off things off get more stressed and fall ill more often than those who do things straight a way and on time.

Wisdom teaches us to value time. The spring in life does not come once it is gone. Opportunities do not knock on the door all the time. A procrastinator's failure to catch the bus always leaves him behind the others. Now is the time for intense competition. There is competition for wealth and position. A man or a woman who fails to do things in their right time is also the one who fails to climb the ladder to success.

Many procrastinators are under the illusion that it is destiny that leaves them behind. They fail to see reason or the truth. They would rather die than get rid of their habits. Sometimes friends, well wishers or maybe a psychotherapist's help may be needed to point the fingers in the eyes of a procrastinator. Just as little grains of sand make the mighty deserts and little drops of water makes the mighty ocean, a man falling behind everyday in his life may end up a broken man! By hook or by crook, the procrastinator needs to be brought to the realisation that time and opportunities have their limits.


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