Procrastination is the thief of time and talent
Published: May 19, 2020

All staff were asked to watch a video: Tedtalk by Tim Urban – Inside the mind of a master procrastinator.

Their responses elicited some deep thoughts. Here they are shared. Maybe all who read will watch the video and write their own thoughts: Sharanjeet Shan – CEO, Maths Centre.

Sandra Mulaudzi

  • Firstly, this motivational talk made me to do an introspection and self-reflect.
  • Procrastination is also one of my weakness, and learning that there are two different types of procrastinators, I went further to find out more about what actually they entail and how can I overcome them. I found that there are actually 4 types, which I can relate with.
  • Anxious procrastination
  • Fun procrastination
  • “Plenty of time” procrastination
  • Perfectionist procrastination
  • From the Tedtalk, learning about the non-deadline things that I procrastinate on generally in my life, it was a scary wake-up call. Because with this its only after a long time one regrets and coming up with a lot of “I should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve”

And by then it’s usually late to fix because it’s true that time waits for no one.

  • Deadline driven activities, where “Panic Monster “comes out, I sometimes find myself in that situation. Mostly, it happens when I don’t understand the content of what I’m expected to do or when I have a lot of time ahead of me before the deadline.
  • Time management, Time management, in all of our May/June trainings, Ms Shan you always caution us about that, because good planning yields good results, in my project generally and my own life at large. Planning provides an opportunity be ahead and to prepared of the unforeseen circumstances and how to be proactive.

I will continue reading and practicing on how to overcome “all  forms Procrastination”, and avoid having panic monster as my everyday friend.

Given Mashela:

From the talk show , I have extracted few important lessons learned about procrastination.

  • Procrastination is a habit.
  • Procrastinators need easy and fun activity :  Do not care about the future and do their work on the last minute as compared to Non-procrastinators[Rational-decision makers].
  • Procrastinators are easy controlled by the panic monsters .
  • Procrastination can result to higher level of frustration, stress and anxiety , hence bad reputation.
  • Non-procrastinators do things on time using a do-list plan.

David Chingwaru:

The video “Inside The Brain of a Master Procrastinator” made me realise that  

  1. we all procrastinate– the important thing is to understand the importance of the task at hand. We do not necessarily need to be given deadlines and external forces before we can get things done. Intrinsic motivation important in getting things done properly
  2. we all have the ability to make rational decisions, irrespective of whether we are masters at procrastination or not. The difference between an achiever and a looser then lies on when we choose to act on those decisions.
  3. the love of fun and easy things usually leads to time wasting through doing irrelevant activities. This leads to people end up becoming spectators where they are supposed to be actors
  4. Those who are comfortable with instant gratification are bound to produce substandard work as they spend too little time doing things that matter the most. They keep postponing doing important activities, thereby putting themselves under a lot of pressure in the end (panic monster).
  5. Achievers plan realistically and do things in the “now”/ “present”. We need to plan and commit to our plans through action.

The video left me asking myself – “how then do I ensure that I always produce quality results in what I do?”. My mind ended up connecting with the 7 habits of effective people by Stephen Covey:

  • Be Proactive. Begin with the End in Mind. Put First Things First. Think Win-Win. Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood. Synergize. Sharpen the Saw.

I think having a solid plan in place is not enough in an attempt to produce quality work. I need to constantly evaluate my work to check whether every step is taking me towards the ultimate goal. I need to have smaller plans that will I will constantly evaluate and adjust in order to make sure my pace and direction are aligned to my ultimate goal.

Graehame Basjan:

After watching the video of Tim Urban, the following came to mind:

  1. Procrastination is the thief of time – Edward Young.  Time cannot be managed.  It is a God-given entity and we need to use it optimally.  I need to manage myself in such a way that I make the most of the time that I have available.  It goes without saying that “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
  2. All of us tend to postpone important (and sometimes not-important) tasks at some point.  We need to prioritise tasks and balance pleasant and unpleasant tasks.
  3. From time to time you need to do unpleasant tasks even though you might not feel like it.  Be proactive and anticipate/ visualize future hiccups/ problems i.e. plan ahead.
  4. Set goals/ deadlines for yourself that are realistic and easily attainable.  If you spread the completion of a task over a longer time period, you will be under less pressure and subsequently make less mistakes.
  5. Do a little at a time i.e. don’t allow tasks to pile up.  Leave ample time for review and/ or reflection.

Mongezi Khoza:

  1. When receiving a due date we plan how we going to do the work but only start working on the last day (work under pressure).
  2. Last minute work lacks quality as no research or proper effort is done. As a result, we just do things to only meet the deadline.
  3. Spreading work equally daily will allow us to manage ourselves easily within the given time. This will lead to less stress in the last hour and result in quality work.
  4. Need to spend less time on the internet  going through social media, news articles and games instead of doing something more productive
  5. As a procrastinator means you live in the present with no knowledge of the future. As a result, we lack a long term plan.
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