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Procrastination, the thief of time.

Dreams will always remain dreams, ideas will always be ideas if steps are not taken to see that our dreams and/or ideas and aspirations in life come to fruition. As humans, we tend to achieve more with our thoughts than our actions. We dream about; owning a mansion, financial freedom, driving the latest cars, completing a particular course, etc. and our mind is such that it makes these things look so easy to accomplish.

That’s not to say these things are not easy to achieve if one sets his/her mind to achieving them anyways, but we, the youths, normally find it difficult to match our mind’s thoughts to actually achieving these things in reality. What then is that force that keeps destroying the bridge that ought to connect our thoughts and our actions? That force is procrastination.

Procrastination is simply the avoidance of doing the things one ought to do at a set time. In his article on procrastination, Kenneth B David describe it as “the thief of time” and he went further by saying that “it is the cancer that has eaten deep into the mentality of our youth today”.

To better understand why we procrastinate, we will discuss about our present self and our future self and how they relate to time inconsistency. Time inconsistency is the tendency for our brain to cherish immediate gratification more than future rewards. The future self refers to all the goals that we have set out to achieve in life and our brain is such that it makes these goals easier to come by when one thinks of them, despite the long-term benefits.

The present self, on the other hand, is the force that ought to drive us towards achieving our set goals, but because the present-self values instant gratifications more, we tend to engage in other activities which are not in line with our set targets just to satisfy our present cravings and most times we feel our comfort zone gives us such satisfaction, hence, our tendency to remain there. This means both the future and the present self are always at odds with each other and we must try to strike a balance, if we hope to achieve anything in life.

Always having the picture of the end in the present help us avoid procrastination. The picture of the end can be a reward or a negative consequence of doing or not doing a task at the set time. For example, when we bring the feeling of graduating with a first-class honours degree into our present moment, it will give us the motivation to study hard. Also, the feeling of having to miss out on a promotion, because we didn’t take that particular course that would have guaranteed us promotion, ought to motivate our present self to take action.

Like my seniors in school will say “we ought to discipline the body to save the soul”, I will edge all Nigerian youths to discipline their present craving that seems to distract them from achieving their set goals in life, so that their future dreams will come to fruition.

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