What procrastination teaches us

2016_04_15 Procrastinate

Despite the fact the life is not fair in general (ideally it should be), there is one thing that is fair to every one: Time.

There are some people who seem to know how to utilize very well, and other are not. There are things that you need to do, and other things that you don’t necessarily have to do, and those who are not good at the former are called “procrastinators“. Let’s take a look how it work and how it affects us. 

Why Procrastination
In my case, recently, I am involved with a new project and a bid overwhelmed, because in a limited time (same as before), I have more things to do than before. therefore I have to make a choice on what to do every day. Although I prioritize my tasks in the beginning of day, sometimes other things come all of a sudden and I might postpone something that needs to be done over other non-essential things (which I usually notice later so it is a good learning). That’s why I decided to write about this.

How the procrastinator’s mind functions
According to the Tim Urban, everyone is procrastinator at some points. In his recent TED talk, he explains how pracrastination works. This video is for sure one of the funniest and most impressive TED talks. And as I introduced in my previous post (“Limitness in a healthy life“)I have been a subscriber of his blog for long time, so I was glad that people seem to like his talk

【Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban】

In this talk, he explains that inside the brain, there are three actors:
(1) Rational decision maker who will try to do what needs to be done;
(2) Instant Gratification monkey who likes fun and easy stuff and;
(3) Panic monster who will scare (2) away and push (1) to do the task.

His main point is that (3) exists when there is deadline. In many important cases (eat healthy, exercise, relationship, etc.), however, , there is no such a thing as deadline, which makes you procrastinate somehow without pushing, therefore you have keep that in mind.

What procrastination teaches us
Although procrastination is considered as villain (and I agree with this in most of the time) it can teach us several things, as long as you are aware that you are in the middle of procrastination (sometimes you don’t even notice). Let’s take a look at these.

1. Feeling guilty teaches us what’s not important
Most of us, if not everyone, have tasks to do. But we watch youtube and Facebook for long time and do other non-essential thing, which makes us feel guilty (at least to me). On the other hand, if you open your eyes open, that feeling tells you what’s not important to you (what you were doing), so that you can think about what is actually important to you at the moment.

2. Time is limited
The more you procrastinate, the more you feel like that time flies, since it tends to go for more fun side, which can make you realize that time is limited (you have to open you eyes to notice it, though).

3. Creativity
Procrastination could turn out not to be a bad thing on a condition that you have to keep things in mind. According to an article of New York Times, when you procrastinate, you’re more likely to let your mind wander, which gives you a better chance of stumbling onto the unusual and spotting unexpected patterns.

Well, as mentioned above, we all procrastinate somehow, and it can teach us important lessons when we open our eyes and face it.

This time, I learned that:
The use of time, one of the few things given to us fairly, teaches us what is important for us, time is limited and some creative ideas.


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