Failure’s Demon- Procrastination

There is a time when you feel lazy, unable to do what you want to do, and you tell yourself, “Later, I have to do this and that; for now, since I do not have the motivation, let me just surf the Internet or check my Facebook or watch a movie, blah blah.” It is awkward, is it not? I mean, the moment you find yourself wanting to do something when you do not have all the will. It is itching because you cannot stop thinking about it, but you cannot start doing it either.

You know that you have to start walking the talk, but for no apparent reason, even the thought of it makes you yawn. So, you throw this idea away for a moment, of course, hoping to return to it “later”, and you will start to amuse yourself playing mobile games or checking your Facebook account or surfing the Internet or watching a movie. Your dull mind, which was sleepy for work, becomes active for amusement. As promised, the time package “later” will arrive sooner than expected, but you are still not ready to do your job, so you will convince yourself again into creating another “later.” By whatever means, you will always find a scapegoat for not doing your job now, and you will continue incubating a never-ending chain of “later-s.” At the end of the day, every simple task will accumulate itself from time to time and will suddenly reveal itself as a huge burden to deal with.

It is a bad habit; through time, your brain gets used to it, which results a vacillating character, and you will end up having neither the strength nor the courage to form a resolve in everything you do. “Procrastination is like an addiction. It offers temporary excitement and relief from boring reality. It is easy to delude yourself …,” says Dr Barbara Oakley in her extensively researched book “A mind for numbers.”

Everybody has reaped the bitter fruits of procrastination, at least once. A lazy farmer, who procrastinates the right time to make his land ready for the rainy season, or the appropriate time for mowing the weeds in his cornfield, immerses himself in a year of remorse and poverty. A careless student, who procrastinates the proper time of studying, will, one day, find it too late to cover all the chapters, even by cramming. What is funny is, sometimes, counting procrastination as their source of pride, we hear students saying, “If I had studied that subject, I would have scored an “A” grade.” A bored teacher, who procrastinates his teaching schedules, will, at the end of the semester, overwhelm himself and the students with arduous lectures. A company manager, who procrastinates important meetings with his staff members or customers, just because he felt bored, will regret his bad business. A lousy politician, who procrastinates his promises and public relations works, will tremble when the election time arrives. An addicted cigarette smoker who procrastinates the right time to stop smoking will cry in despair when he is finally treated for terminal lung cancer. We, Ethiopians, have a big problem of punctuality just because we procrastinate the right time to start going to our appointments.

Time never stops. It does not wait for the procrastinator. A lost time is irrecoverable. We cannot go back in time and amend things. Though we know that, with each passing second, our body is wearing down and our mind is becoming weak, we keep procrastinating the right time to do something, until we notice that there is not enough time and strength for it. We get old without accomplishing those tasks which we ever hoped to accomplish. Unable to break our bad habit, often we say “later,” but it is this simple lapse of time management which costs us so much, making our life miserable. Who is to blame? Procrastination! To indicate that time is precious, some say that time is gold; I say time is life and it is priceless.

Doing one simple task at the right time gives you the feeling of accomplishment. This seemingly little feeling of accomplishment is powerful enough to give you the motivation you need to do another simple task. Step by step, the job gets done on time bearing a better result, and there will be nothing to worry about. Hence, you will lead a happy and successful life without regrets.

By Tsegazeab Shishaye
Tsegazeab Shishaye is an electrical engineer by profession and is interested in social issues, Ethiopian history, science and ideas that aim at changing the sequel. He can be reached at

Published on Jun 03,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 892]



With a reformist administration in charge of the executive, there has b...


The new electricity tariffs that became effective on December 1, 2018,...


Who it is that midwifed the rapprochement between E...


Ethiopia’s economy is at a crossroads. The same old advice will not s...


A recent photo between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and George Soros...


The future is bleak. Millennials and younger generations who will inher...

View From Arada

There is heated debate on the propriety, decency and morality of breast...

Business Indicators


Editors Pick