Perils of procrastination and simple ways to overcome it

Most of us are guilty of procrastination. We often think, " I will do it tomorrow", be it a small thing as wishing a friend success in his promotion interview or greeting one's cousin on his wedding anniversary. Tomorrow never works, though. This article talks about some ramifications of procrastination and some simple ways to overcome the bottleneck in our lives.


This is true story. It happened in a big public sector undertaking at Tiruchirapalli and since both the men involved were known to this author, the drama had all the making of a typical masala Tamil movie. Both were private secretaries. In those days, they would be called "stenographers". One knew that his career would go nowhere without further qualification. He got all the details and advised his colleague to also enroll in it. The first guy duly enrolled in it and took the help of professionals to prepare for the examinations of the National Institute of Personnel Management, leading to the Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management. Even today, it is recognized by the Government of India and almost every State Government in India. The first fellow did all the work on every weekend and was so serious. The second guy took it easy. "I will enroll in it next year" was his reply. He never did.

The first guy got his Diploma and resigned from his job from the prestigious PSU. He joined another PSU in New Delhi and spent years as a married bachelor. He learned all the tricks of the trade and then shifted to a private-sector job as Manager( HR ) after five years of experience. He went on to become GM in the same company.

Procrastination lulls us into a whirlpool of laziness. It never allows us to look at things from a positive perspective. Procrastination makes us happy with the status quo and limits all our thinking. The most important out-of-the-box thinking is also lost. We become victims of our own fate. We do not even attempt to rewrite our fate, even if making every effort is entirely in our hands.

Be that as it may, we can easily overcome procrastination by a) Developing a "do-it-now" attitude b) Associate yourself with successful people and learn from them c) Hitch your wagon to all things new d) Never ever give up and e) Have a "what next?" perspective of life.

Developing a "do-it-now" attitude

These are tough times and high spending is just not on. We must indeed save small amounts in recurring deposits. For ten years. Want to save Rs.150 per month for ten years? Open the RD right now. The interest may be taxed but with the enhanced limits, you would stand to gain anyway. And ten years would fly in a flash. Want to enroll in a course, in say, Cloud computing?: Do it now. Only such an attitude will enable one to come out of procrastination soon.

Associate yourself with successful people and learn from them

Want to develop in life? The best chances for your success comes from deep observation of successful people and their ways. For one, they will always be organized. In fact, highly organized. Secondly, they will never postpone anything. Thirdly, they will always work extra hard. Fourthly, they will work to perfect whatever they are doing. They will never bother too much about what others say, but their success will draw people to them. Automatically. By just doing and repeatedly doing whatever they do, you will be on the right path. Take their help if necessary and that will make you confident that you are changing.

Hitch your wagon to all things new

The second fellow in the above true story was caught up in a web of his own making. He wanted to take life easy. However, there is nothing called a free lunch, anywhere in the world. The best of cricketers, for example, slog it out for even twelve hours at a stretch, perfecting their skills, even if they are not playing.

Life is always about the thrill of doing something different. Look at the first fellow, who went to New Delhi as a married bachelor and then worked his way up. Any new experience in life will always come with its own ups and downs. But the thrill associated with such uncertainties will always open up only when we are ready to take up new challenges and change our attitude towards life. Procrastination will simply vanish with such positive attitudes as we would have already broken the status quo and bid it goodbye. Never ever think that you will be the loser. Job security today is there only for those with a bundle of skills and competencies. Just knowing a new skill is just not enough. The perfection of the skill in practice will make a lot of difference.

To take one example that we see all around us, let us look at those who specialize in Event Management. Though there are a few institutes even having an MBA degree in Event Management, the bulk of the experience comes from the hard knock of the real-world events. Each and every step has to be planned and there should be at least three contingency plans for every single piece of the action. Imagine the amount of co-ordination involved. Yet, this is the actual thrill. There is absolutely no place for procrastination at all. Events need to be successfully managed for repeated businesses to come one's way. Life is always a challenge in Event Management. Even if one does not want to have Event Management as a profession, it is imperative that one learns from such experiences, even by opting to work on a part-time or honorary basis. The trick is to avoid the trap of procrastination by keeping ourselves usefully engaged in learning something new.

Never ever give up

When one goes through the nitty-gritty of each of the aforesaid steps, there are bound to be some failures. Mistakes are common. However, one should never ever give up. Since breaking the status quo is always not so easy, we should not be demotivated by some event that makes us feel defeated. Success is always reserved for persons with tenacity and the ability to stand tall. The ability to move on. The ability to take things in the stride and strive for perfection in whatever we do. Procrastination has no place in this process.

Have a "what next?" perspective of life.

These are tough times. Even those who have lost their jobs do feel so sad when they are not able to find alternate jobs. However, the ones who emerge successful are those who develop new skill-sets and then take up jobs where the practice of such skill-sets is eminently possible. When we start looking at life from a larger perspective, we will always emerge successful. We need to just look for alternatives to keep us going. To secure the basic minimum needs for our families. When this happens, our tendency to procrastinate will automatically vanish.

Let us follow the above step sin full and realize the full potential of what can be done in any situation.


Procrastination can easily destroy any one of us at any time. If we start doing some things as outlined above, we will have learned how to come out of procrastination. We just need to work on the basics. Success will follow our hard work.


Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao22 Dec 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

"Do it now ", should be the attitude these days. Arjuna knows that war is inevitable. So he wanted to get all the weapons. He started praying to different Gods and even had a big fight with Eshwara and obtained various weapons which helped him in winning the war. Had he postponed that activity, he might not have been able to get all those weapons.

Same is the case with all of us also. We have to think what are the actions to be taken today and we should do it today itself. If we postpone the activity, sometimes that will get postponed forever. Tomorrow will be tomorrow forever like writing on the wall.

A very good article from the author and he very nicely brought out how Procrastination will spoil the lives of the people. I know many examples where people ruined their career with this attitude.

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