Procrastination: An Act Of Surrender
Many in this world are victims of Procrastination, an idea developed by ancient Greek Philosophers, like Socrates and Aristotle, to describe Akrasia. Akrasia is the state of acting against one’s better judgement. As per the modern definition, Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. This sort of act often discourages people from reaching their goal, as they fail to do a job even after thinking that they would do it later.
Experts express different opinions on the cause of procrastination. However, they agree on one thing: Those, who delay their jobs, are not aware of their mistake. It is quite difficult to analyse this psychological trait through the concept of laziness. The majority of people often claim that they are so busy that they cannot get time to finish a job. However, it is a lame excuse, as everyone is doing something or nothing, despite knowing the fact that it is harming their long-term interests.
Over the past four decades, one thing has come up again and again… Present-biased Preference. It is a tendency to prioritise the immediate over the long-term interests. According to psychologists, many are unable to give up temporary immediate satisfaction for the sake of bigger gains in the future. For them, a particular moment is real. According to various research works on human psychology, there are some negative emotions behind procrastination (or delaying a job). People consider some jobs as terribly boring, or quite difficult, or full of uncertainty. Hence, they prefer to delay.
This issue can also be explained from the perspective of Economics. Any particular job has a cost, as well as benefit. In most of the cases, one has to pay the price before enjoying the benefits. Hence, people easily fall into the clutches of procrastination.
Psychologists are of the opinion that giving up is another form of admitting defeat, or the act of surrender without trying or putting up a fight. As it is psychologically stressful for a person to admit defeat, people try their best not to give up in most of the cases. Where there is no obligation (or deadline) to complete a task, things become a bit difficult. According to psychologists, procrastination often invites troubles.
In this regard, the research works of Psychologist Hal Hershfield, the Professor of the University of California, Los Angeles, are significant. Professor Hershfield has claimed that a person takes time to finish a job when s/he considers today’s ‘I‘ (or self) and the future ‘I‘ (or self) are different persons. It is like putting the burden of one’s work on someone else, and staying happy. In other words, the person considers her/his future self as another person who can do all the unpleasant things for the former.
In a nutshell, it is really difficult for some people to overcome the habit of procrastination. The Internet and books on self-help cannot help them become systematic. To overcome this problem, one needs to be quite serious.
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