“Procrastination is a thief of time”, so they say. But is this true? Of course, it is! How then can procrastination steal our time? After all, we cannot see it.  Isn’t it rather strange that those things we can’t see are the things that affect our lives greatly? Procrastination is one of such things.


We often use procrastination and laziness interchangeably, however, this is not correct. According to, “to procrastinate” means to intentionally delay the completion of a certain task, especially if it is a matter of increased importance and/or urgency. Laziness, on the other hand, means the disinclination to work or make an effort in any other sphere. Although laziness and procrastination seem alike, there is a thin line between them.

Let’s face it, procrastination is a trap many of us fall into. In fact, according to researcher and speaker, Piers Steel, 95 per cent of us procrastinate by some degree and we just find ourselves being pulled in by procrastination despite our good intentions. According to Behavioral psychology research, procrastination is said to be caused by a certain phenomenon called Time Inconsistency. This phenomenon refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards. This explains why we often choose to spend hours on social media, watching countless videos on YouTube or perform less urgent tasks when we have more important tasks to do. It is important to note that simply planning to perform a task later in a constructive or strategic way does not mean you are procrastinating; what does is when you postpone a task due to ineffective planning.


The trick of procrastination is that the longer you delay the task, the more overwhelming the task starts to feel. Eventually, you will have to pay for the delay with increased stress, guilt and low productivity. The guilt and frustration of procrastination are usually worse than the pain of doing the work.

As it is with most habits, it is possible to overcome procrastination. The following are ways we can overcome it:

  • You must recognize that you are procrastinating.
  • Figure out why you are procrastinating; are you avoiding the task because you find it boring or unpleasant?
  • Commit to the task at hand. Write down the tasks you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them.
  • You could attach a reward to the task. If you complete the task on time, reward yourself.
  • Get an accountability partner to help you keep your commitment.
  • Minimize distractions. Stay away from possible distractions such as television, social media etc.
  • Aim to get the task you find the least pleasant done first thing in the morning.

Procrastination can lead to unproductivity and hinder your potential. So, it is crucial to take proactive steps to overcome it. The steps above should be your arrest warrant to finally put that thief of your time away for good.


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