Dear Conscience: Why do we procrastinate?

Why do we procrastinate?
Shoulder Devil: Jill MahlerShoulder Angel: Jennifer M. Hartsock
Why do we plot our coworkers demise or drink heavily during the holidays? It feels good.Procrastinating is one of our oldest forms of entertainment, ever since the caveman said, “I’ll hunt tomorrow.” There is no reason to be running around, making plans when you know you will never keep them.

I used to plan tomorrow, until I realized I wasn’t living today. Now, I sit back and let success come to me.

We procrastinate because we are in denial. We say we will do our work later, but in reality, we have no plan to at all, otherwise we would have completed it already.

When you think about where the meaning of “deadline” comes from, it’s easy to see why no one wants to rush to work on a deadline. “The expression comes from American Civil War prisoners, who were kept within crude makeshift boundaries, often just a line scratched in the dirt or an easily breached rail fence.

They were told, “If you cross this line, you are dead,” and soon the guards and prisoners simply called it what it was: a deadline.” Deadlines are for masochists. There will always be another deadline, so why stress?

Why cause yourself more sleepless nights, gray hairs and bags under the eyes? No one wants to see that.

Your body sends signals of what it needs, so when you crave another hour of TV, you probably need it. Who says you can’t learn from TV? Hello, PBS.

The only reason for procrastinating is never a good one! If you can’t keep your commitments, lighten your load. If you can’t follow through on something, don’t pretend to be committed.Life should not be this difficult. If you have a busy schedule that leaves goals, chores, and obligations to fall to the way side, you need to reevaluate your priorities. Create a list of tasks that need to be accomplished, and just do them already! Once you get used to how success feels, then you can add tasks to your list.

People who procrastinate bug everyone. If you have a job to do, but have three other jobs to do, your commitment to each will suffer. You’ll look like a fool, probably act a fool, and make people roll their eyes when you give us tasks to do. Maybe we’ll get to them, maybe we won’t. Thanks for the great work ethic, leader.

It’s understandable that life gets hectic sometimes, but the things you’re procrastinating on are the things you really don’t care about. This might be homework assignments, calling your mother, or something like becoming a better person. If these things keep falling off your list of Things-To-Do, chop them off the list completely.

The point is: You can be a good person, but it’s hard to tell when you’re constantly letting yourself and other people down. You don’t have to be good at everything.

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