I suffer from chronic procrastination. And for those who think it is not a recognized mental disease – think again. I believe procrastination is a global epidemic, plaguing millions around the globe, driving them to put off their work till the very next day. It is a handicap that affects the psyche of an individual and ultimately leads to the breakdown or demise of the physical. It is the virulent disease that annihilates academic success and curbs productivity, leaving people like me struggling for ‘more time’.
Procrastination has many symptoms, anxiety being one. In many ways, we are addicted to time the way gamblers are to money or alcoholics to liquor. We love time. Why waste it doing something we don’t want to? Our motto is “If you can do it tomorrow, why do it today?” However, one should not confuse indolence or laziness with procrastination. I often tell people that I work best under pressure. It sounds so corporate. I have literally scrubbed my room from top to bottom in order to avoid writing a homework assignment. Procrastination takes a lot of work.
I also believe there is an inherent link between creativity and procrastination. “Time on Task” is not our maxim. We tend to abhor the mundane and the tedious. I don’t open my textbooks a month before my exams. It’s against my creative, intuitive nature. I now do most of my work by Karma. And it works, more often than not.
I wait with bated breath for the day the American Medical Association or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will declare procrastination a disease and accord it a proper and legitimate place in the annals of medicine. I’d even settle for psychiatric institutions to classify it a behavioral problem with a possible chemical imbalance in the brain worthy of research and medication.
With a legitimate stamp of abnormal approval, procrastinators would then be eligible to petition the government for equal-right status. This silent disease would be out of the closet once-and-for-all. And maybe then, people like me will feel less guilty for putting things off till the last moment.
In many ways, us procrastinators are essentially optimists. There is always tomorrow…