Life is quite simple when you break it down to the bare minimum. Lately, that’s what I’ve been working on. I’m trying to make things simple for myself instead of burying myself under heaps of complications. It seems easy when you start out but as you go further and further into it, it becomes complicated once more. So, basically, I have been running in circles trying to catch my own tail. In other words, I am procrastinating. I wish I was one of those people who are able to gloss over work and deadlines and just be happy in the space they’re in.
The weekend went smoothly, without hiccups. But that makes me concerned that the coming week will be a busy one. I have deadlines to meet and things to do but that’s just life. I’ve learnt the hard way that deadlines are flexible. I’m referring to the ones you set for yourself not the ones others set for you. The ones set by others are promises and I personally believe it’s good karma to keep those promises. Every once in a while though I try to negotiate with my karma. I’m always looking for loopholes in karma and trying to balance everything out.
I’m somebody who likes setting deadlines, to be honest though, I don’t like to meet them. Life would be boring without the thrill of trying to meet a deadline. The days on which I have to meet a deadline, my hair tends to be standing on end, I sweat for no reason and I don’t look up from my screen. I’ve always been the person who feels a deadline coming from miles away and even though I want to meet it, I procrastinate using the excuse of de-stressing. I always seem to check my zodiac predictions before a deadline. Suddenly I seem to believe in God and luck becomes my driving force.
I think procrastination is all about convincing yourself that you’re doing enough when really you’re not. You look the clock in the eye and tell yourself, “It’ll be fine.” I always find something else to do when I should be working, it’s just instinct. All the memes in the world land up on my newsfeed, all the new YouTube videos seem to appear in my recommendations on that fateful day. I ask myself why? I struggle with my temptation and wonder what in the world I could do to stop myself. I voluntarily climb into the rabbit hole and hope I can ignore the ticking at the back of my head.
Finally, when I have a mountain of work to finish, I stare at it not knowing whether to be impressed or terrified. Were the 20 episodes of watching two people fall in love worth it? Was listening to the new single of that band worth it? In the long run, maybe. But in the immediate setting, maybe not. To procrastinate well one must stress eat. I’ve been trying to watch the calories, so instead of having chips or chocolate, I am now turning to nuts and guavas. It’s healthy but if you finish a box full of almonds in record time you’re probably doing more harm than good.
What gets me to work finally is a rude awakening by all the piled up work and a kick from the lack of distractions. I do complete the work, I do meet the deadline and 99 times out of 100 it goes well. Maybe if the odds were not good and my ratio of success to failure was skewed I’d work on my procrastination but as of now, I have no motivation to fix this trait. There are individuals who roam this Earth who meet deadlines weeks in advance and breeze through deadlines like models on a runway. I can almost see the halos around their heads when I come across them. They are a really rare species.
I’ve also had those moments, I was once part of that elite club where your membership depends on a perfect track record. I realised after five years of spending time in that club that time is given so we can use it if we finish everything before we’re meant to then we’re always going to have more work to do. I was introduced to this interesting drug called, ‘fun’ and since then there was no looking back. I’m not somebody who doesn’t get work done. I’ll get work done on time but I have learnt to prioritise myself. Those who have set my deadlines will survive even without my meeting the deadline, they will replace me and get it done through some other means. Even if I disappear into thin air they will plow on unconcerned just slightly annoyed.
Look at the world around you, take a moment and see for yourself, if you don’t meet a deadline you will live, will you get back the lost time though? No. So do you want to spend that time looking at a blank screen filling it with numbers and words trying to prove your capability or do you want to put that capability to test? Those twenty episodes helped me forget my depression for a while, the song became a part of a playlist I listen to every day. You need to take care of yourself for you to be able to meet the deadline.
There’s no formula for what is the right way to work. There are people who wing it, there are people who do the work weeks in advance to avoid tension, and there are people who can’t work without the pressure. You’re never following any one of these methods throughout your life, at different times you use different approaches. That’s why working in a team is so hard because everybody comes from a different school of thought. I will never be somebody who can work for hours at a stretch, and I will also never be ok with not meeting a deadline. This much I know so if I procrastinate it’s not because I’m lazy, I have my reasons.
Life already has a deadline, but it’s a deadline you’ll never see coming. Maybe the trick to living a long life is procrastination. Think about it, if you knew when life would give you its deadline with the specifications of what you have to complete, would you really finish your work in advance or would you keep putting it off for later so you could live a little longer? Procrastination doesn’t sound so bad now does it?