The Real Reason Behind Procrastination……….


Procrastination (Photo credit: Emilie Ogez)


Procrastination – is a familiar word to all of us.  Every single one of us would have experienced this at one time or the other in our lives. We put things off, sometimes for a short period of time and yet at other times indefinitely.  We get anxious when we think of those things that we are putting off, briefly pick up, look at them and then delay finishing.  We often give ourselves very good excuses, justifications for not doing.


Procrastination is a subject written about extensively. Any number of solutions are on offer to conquer it.  What am I going to add that is new or what solution would I offer that is not already given?


Well, in putting off the inevitable – yet again, I realized a very important truth about this whole subject – the real reason why I procrastinate.


What do I hope to achieve in putting off the inevitable, or putting off things to do?  Why do I resist the knowing urge to act now? Why do I postpone things?


Procrastination helps me ‘Buy Time’ or so I think.


Delaying to Buy Time – such a fallacy.


When I look at the artificially created calendar, it comforts and acknowledges my continued mortality and the mental unrest due to pressed anxiety will ease in the short term.

Is that why I postpone – to comfort myself that I am going to live that much longer? Does that hope, ambition, expectation create a rush in me to live?  Am I scared that if I finish doing everything that I have to do now, there is no reason for me to live for tomorrow?

Is that it?  Procrastination helps me ‘Buy Time’ ?

I live in a big bubble of illusion thinking that I can stop the clock by delaying.  Small or big – the size of the issue or thing is not the question.  The fundamental  principle in resistance induced procrastination is the false hope that I am applying brakes on my guaranteed mortality.  I want to continue my life and living.  As long as I have hopes pinned on ‘One Day’ set at some arbitrary distant future, I feel comforted that I could live until then to see it through.


Needs, Wants, Desires,  Ambitions, Hopes, Expectations,  – they are the drivers of life.  Procrastination and Delaying are the brakes that temporarily stop the wheel of time – or so I think.

I fool myself that in delaying I have actually stopped the clock.  But my mind rotates along with the clock that never stopped, while my eternal clock that counts down my life ticks closer to the zero hour.


I don’t like to dwell on ‘what if’s’ but I don’t mind living in “if then’s”


The “What If” scenarios – “What If I fall sick”, “What if I have an accident and die”, “What if I cannot deliver/do/keep my promise” etc., etc., gets answered with a promising “If I…………, then I can………..” and buys time. You fill in the blanks.


The fear induced by “What If’s” are comforted by “If, then, I can’s” false assurances of our immortality, and the clock ticks as we settle our minds temporarily in its permanent impermanence.


Am I buying time or Am I wasting time?


If my existence is timed on earth, every moment I delay in doing what I am meant to be doing – I am wasting time.  On the other hand, if I think I am immortal (funnily enough we think that without ‘thinking’) then every decision postponed, I am buying time (Not),.


Deep down I know that my existence is limited and my days are numbered and yet on surface I act as though I am going to be eternal – and there is the conflict within me.

I can never be at peace with myself when two sub currents of ‘Push and Pull’ exist.  That unrest shows in me as emotional irritability, the deep discontentment, the anxiety, the frustration, the emotional ups and downs, the entire zeal we call living.


Many solutions are offered in conquering this self defeating enemy called Procrastination – they work for brief periods of time until we forget again.  So what is a solution that we cannot overlook –


Observing the Push and Pull of Time with awareness and remembering that the next minute is not ours


How do we do that?


We will explore that in the next blog………..


Until then, let me know what you think.


With Love and Respect


Padma Ayyagari






About Padma Ayyagari

I am a Human Values Activist, passionate about and trying to live steeped in Spirituality. I live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of all human life. I believe in Unity of Faiths, Unity in diversity and try and live my life with unity in thought, word and deed. Helping others to lead a life of practical spirituality that will give peace of mind is my passion and life purpose.
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4 Responses to The Real Reason Behind Procrastination……….

  1. SavingDosh says:

    Haven’t we all been here at some stage in our lives (or constantly).

    I’m not sure where my procrastination comes from or why it comes or how you mend or even if you should try to mend it. It just is.

    Another great post, Padma.

    Thank your for sharing.



  2. raghu says:

    I like the work ‘Practical Spirtuality’.


  3. Pingback: Obstacle 83: Procrastination | CEO Blog

  4. Thanks for the mention!


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