Word for the day: Procrastination

Meaning: the action of delaying or postponing something.

Wait… Give it sometime… Maybe tomorrow, and voila! You’ve become a procrastinator. It seems so easy to delay things, until you realize tempus fugit… Time really does fly!

During my final year of undergrad we had college placements going on; a tedious process to sit through, get interviewed and what have you. Like the standard Indian herd-mentality, I sat fora few interviews; Target being one such, and surprisingly… I landed the job!  I wasn’t excited but I was expecting for better companies like Reuters and/or Goldman Sachs to come by with more impressive offers.

Well, usually after the interview, the offer letters are given and are expected to be signed in a month’s time. I had a very bad attitude that semester in college. I would say “There’s plenty of time tomorrow, and I’ll start then”, or “I don’t have enough information to start on this. Abhi chalta hai”. (That reminds me, I have an assignment in ‘Introduction to Political Thoughts’ and I haven’t even started it yet because there’s tomorrow for it!). Yes, I am such a procrastinator, although isn’t everyone at some point of their lives.



Coming back on Target (pun intended), I delayed reading my offer letter or even thinking about signing it. Let’s be honest… I had completely forgotten about it. Can’t say if it was karma or (un-)friendly negligence, but my peers had already signed and sent theirs… And my steel-trap couldn’t even remember where mine was!

Apparently the due date was well past and I had already lost out. As I sat across the table with my friends who did not tell me that they’d sent in their offer letters, I almost felt like crying and punching them for not letting me know that they signed and sent in theirs. At the same time, I asked myself “Is this how karma gets back at me?” I was so upset that I actually ended up having a meltdown. Not because I didn’t submit my papers but because I had to go through the job process all over again.

I proudly sat for the Goldman Sachs interview with undivided attention. Well, the process was even tougher and they asked me about investments and the like that only a finance student would have come across. Despite the uphill battle, the odds seemed to be in my favour, much to the dumbstruck looks of my merry minions.

I remember the interview was one up Easy Street and I was expectant of the of the results which would be out soon. Hopes were high and expectations beyond imagination but it turned out that I wasn’t selected. That was a big blow for me and that is when I realized my procrastinating, left without a prospective career path, leaving me licking the wounds of my karmic wallop!

Then and there, I decided to give procrastination the pink slip!

So what’s the point of the little anecdote, you ask? Well, I feel the words “procrastination” and “laziness” are quite hand-in-glove. You’re lazy… So you don’t feel like doing anything… So you procrastinate… So you lose out on the opportunity… So you wallow in regret and depression… This makes you feel lazy.

So, in my recent browser history I stumbled upon this article which said Bill Gates hires lazy people at Microsoft because lazy people know how to get tough jobs the smartest way. And I guess they make good managers too, well that’s what my lecturer Mr Varghese says.

As I read more on the article it helped me think how we convert our laziness and procrastination into being our greatest strength and asset. The article spoke about this guy who posts regular advice on Quora and he said that he has a 29 character password for all his social networking sites. This person usually logs out before he starts working and then when he feels like taking a break from working he feels absolutely lazy to type his password and ends up heading back to work, courtesy his laziness. Way to go, champ!

That was Trick #1 to get more productivity out of the day.

Trick #2 my friend, is when you know you’re just too lazy a person but at the same time quite persuasive. You can use your uselessness to get things done for free. All you got to do is delegate in the best way possible and your work shall be done provided you are a sweetheart to the unwitting slave and give them their sweet little time to deliver.

On a more personal level, How can I use procrastination to be more efficient? Here’s what I came up with:

Because I am a great procrastinator and I wait for the world’s end to start my work, I feel it makes me more focused and determined towards one project that I need to work on and dedicate all my time. If I start early with maximum effort (a la Deadpool) and the work is filled with more gas than a Lays packet. When I am my wit’s end, my stress makes me prioritize on what more important on the docket. People actually work efficiently that way.

Taking a page from Ze Abwehr (German Army a la WW2), a high level army stooge believed that the army could be divided into categories – Clever, Diligent, Lazy or Stupid. According to Ze, German the most dangerous officer was Stupid and Diligent and could not be trusted with any responsibility because they were just too stupid to make mistake. While on the other hand he said that officers who were Lazy and Clever made the best leaders because they knew how to delegate work and escape meetings and the best was because they possessed intellectual clarity on things which was very much required for difficult tasks.

To sum up, we should all learn and know by now that lazy people and procrastinators are great at avoiding responsibility but they do know how to delegate it and work “efficiently”. They focus on the essentials rather than get distracted by unnecessary information. This solves the eternal question: are lazy procrastinators fools? NO! As they say all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy… So Jack becomes lazy, procrastinates, and then delegates!

The word procrastination could not get any better! Let’s all be great procrastinators.


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