259. Procrastination

(if you’ve got work problems / I feel sorry for you son / Coz I’ve got 99 deadlines / And I won’t meet one)

I have been sitting in front of my laptop, just outside the office, for the better part of the afternoon now. There are articles to be written, materials to be edited, work to be done, and I cannot bring myself to do any of it.

I’d like to blame the gloomy weather. Or my itchy eyes. Or that I didn’t have my cup (or flask) of earl grey tea today. But we all know what’s up, don’t we? We all know who’s the real culprit here. There is no one to blame but…

The little imp named Procrastination. It’s been buzzing around my head all afternoon, and it refuses to let me get any work done.

Curse you, Procrastination.

(having written up to this point, I decided to reward myself by browsing through memes and rage comics for 10 minutes)

There’s no way around it. As much as we’d like to be productive and free of distraction all day long so we can get things done, we won’t. We never will. For all have sinned and fallen short of maximum efficiency. We strive daily towards the goal that is the day in which all work shall be done, but somewhere along the lines, most of us just go, “Ah, screw this,” and start watching Let’s Play videos on YouTube.

(coincidentally, I’m on Part 12 of Pewdiepie’s playthrough of The Last Of Us. Coincidentally, I say!)

I’m sure there is some sort of scientific explanation behind why we procrastinate. I’ve read somewhere (I think it was the beautifully-titled space called You Are Not So Smart) that the reason why we keep pushing things for Future-Us to do is because we like to idealize the future.

See, the future is where dreams come true. The future is where the conditions are perfect: there is no lag, there is no mental block, there is no itch in your eye, and there is no sudden urge to clean up your desk. Even when it’s not perfect, the future is always a much better time to work than the present. When the future rolls around, we would have sorted out our present worries so that we can focus on the things that truly matter. Like work. Or having meetings. Or doing taxes.

But the future, like your soul mate, doesn’t come as perfectly as you see them in your mind’s eye. And, just like the love of your life, it comes with its own baggage. Boy, you think your present worries are a lot to handle? If you don’t sort them out now, the future’s going to unload them onto your face, whether you like it or not.

Think of it like exercising. (God knows it’s one of the major things we procrastinate on.) You do today’s share of eating, and you decide that you’re feeling all sorts of drowsy, so gym can wait until tomorrow, when you don’t. But today’s calories aren’t going anywhere. And if you skip tomorrow’s gym session, tomorrow’s calories aren’t disappearing with the gym session either.

So the calories pile up. Like your worries. And your fats. And pretty soon, you’re swamped in every way imaginable, and you wonder how did you get yourself into this fine mess.

So here’s a friendly reminder from me, both for you and for myself: do Future-You a favor and get your shit sorted out.

Because not even Future-You deserves to deal with the stuff you won’t deal with.

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