The merits of procrastination( or how being lazy can be good….)

This happened to me in a job interview I sat for recently, the interviewer and I engaged in a myriad of questions and discussions regarding my skill-sets, my eligibility towards the company, and all the paraphernalia that makes an interview a rather tedious task(for the interviewer and not for me, half the time I wasn’t aware of what babble I was spouting out)….one of the questions asked to me was that what was the one thing I expect most of from a group or rather from my inner circle of friends….after giving it some thought, I replied in a word-loyalty. The reason being the many betrayals and back-stabbings suffered throughout my life. The quality I least expected from the people around me was tardiness or procrastination, as being a sort of a perfectionist and a bit of a selfish prick, I generally expect things to be done in a snap, whether its a task given to me or a favour or work expected to be done by others. I just couldn’t give it a rest if  something which has to be done is just done and over with so that I can relax and enjoy most of my time in absolute,no cent of work kind of blissful state.

The interviewer after hearing my answers asked me whether I had ever heard of the term ‘positive procrastination’, the initial thoughts in my mind immediately were formulating something contradictory to his question—I mean procrastination and that too positive??!! I engage in lassitude(in plain terms, lazy…) very frequently to my own dismay, but I never thought that it could actually be of some use. The interview may have been over, but the term still remained stuck in my mind. It wasn’t until later that I understood to some extent its meaning when I realized that I do tend to delay things beyond their estimated schedule of completion. In short, my laziness taught me that I was a procrastinator and not the perfectionist that I thought myself to be, but in what way can procrastination actually yield positivity?? We are generally taught throughout our lives that any given job, no matter how high or low, if done quickly and on time is worth it, that a stitch in time saves nine and all that. I have observed that as a schoolboy, it was always a race to finish anything first, be it a homework or an assignment, I always was the ‘good,sincere, hardworking boy’. As years passed and college semesters went by, this ‘goody-two shoes‘ image that I had cultivated went downhill. I understood that nobody generally likes a do-gooder, because you can be the bane of your mates if you have finished your assignment or project first or let your credit be taken when your homework is copied by virtually everybody in the room, in short you stand to lose either way. I have found that as we age, all the morals and standards we grew up imbibing when we were kids are all lost in the veil of apathy and the cold fabric of pragmatism that we wear now today as adults. So, college taught me the merits of copying and pasting work done by others,shelving projects and assignments all at the last minute, and there is a certain amount of fun to it because you are not alone in this.

Procrastination shouldn’t necessarily imply being lazy. We speak of time-management, but there is a remarkable amount of ingenuity and management shown as to how to do things at the last minute, its an art-form actually, getting things in motion to complete a huge task done in the shortest possible time with the minimalist of resources at our disposal. In a way, we are getting to hone our soft-skills by pulling of a  job at the last minute, that does deserve to get an equal amount of credit at par with the same work done ahead of time. But is that the only positive role of procrastination? Does it not teach us to maintain networks and influences with people so that at a time of need, they can be around to put themselves in the line for you? Or does it enhance our thinking prowess when we come up with the wiliest and unimaginable excuses for our failure to comply with a task?(Not that we can use such brains to complete that task in the first place). I can now imagine with a sense of admiration and disgust as to how our leaders-elect tend to procrastinate important bills and amendments and concentrate instead as to how to strengthen their own positions of power; politics may not be a good example I have used to glorify procrastination, but good things also do tend to have a sense of irony in them.

In a world where we are both a boss of some and a servant to others, procrastination and the other higher forms of lassitude will always continue to envelope our way of life and the way we work. Its a great thing to have your work done by others but even miserable when you know you don’t deserve the credit for it, i.e., if your conscience allows you to feel the same. The mantra for every workplace today is as rightly said by Mark Twain-” Work can be fun, it can be fun if you let others do it for you’.


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