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Saturday, September 1, 2018

art of procrastination ! ~ laziness too is a key to survival !!


How cluttered is your desktop – as we open our laptop at work every day, the first thought that occurs is to clean – but perhaps that never happens for most ! – in our school way back in 1979, (we had some boys from CBSE joining +2 for scoring higher marks in +2 in State board) – a boy got up in classroom and said loudly ‘procrastination is the thief of time’ (..  துரை, இங்கிலீஸெல்லாம்  பேசுது மொமெண்ட் !! )

Most of us do it routinely - procrastinate from time to time. Sometimes it’s those mundane things - like sorting through old files, reconciling accounts, or tidying the cupboard. But often it’s the bigger things that require more time, more commitment, and put us at more risk of failing, looking foolish or feeling emotionally bruised. 
sleeping lion - pic credit : Australian geographic

Procrastination (from Latin's "procrastinare", that translates as: the prefix pro-, 'forward', with -crastinus, 'till next day' from "cras", 'tomorrow') is the avoidance of completing a task that needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, a procrastinator may defer undertaking this task until immediately prior to its deadline. Procrastination can exert influence on any aspect of life – it may lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt, which may be attributed to procrastination's hindering effect on productivity.

Though it could be stated that everyone puts things off until the last minute sometimes, procrastinators chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we'll feel tomorrow, or the next day. "I don't feel like it" takes precedence over goals; however, it then begets a downward spiral of negative emotions that deter future effort. Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that's their way of justifying putting things off. The bright side? Perfectionists are often procrastinators; it is psychologically more acceptable to never tackle a task than to face the possibility of falling short on performance.

In every office, in every workplace, we find  sorts of self-serving excuses, so common that psychologists have coined a name for the practice. They call it self-handicapping. Think of self-handicapping as a strategy of intentionally sabotaging your own efforts. Why would anyone be so self-defeating? Because erecting your own barriers to success offers protection from the ego-crushing consequences of failure. When I postpone work on a project that I fear is beyond my capabilities, I am creating an obstacle that I can point to as the reason for flopping. It’s not that I’m too incompetent to succeed. It’s just that I waited until the last minute; I didn’t give it my best shot. “The chronic procrastinator would rather have other people think he lacks effort than that he lacks ability,” the procrastination researcher Joe Ferrari of DePaul University told.

Now read what procrastination can do .. from this post in Huffington Post.  Surviving on Earth may not need to be the strongest. Laziness may well be an equally important benefit. Researchers have indeed established a direct link between the amount of energy spent on a species' daily life and its probability of extinction.

This study, published in the journal Proceedings Royal Society B , looked at the evolution of 299 species of molluscs, Pliocene (there are 5 million years) to the present day. The geographical area of the survey is focused on the Atlantic Ocean, "a region that has experienced significant fluctuations in its climate and ambient temperatures, disturbances that have hitherto been related to the death of species", justify Researchers.

They set their criterion of analysis on the basic metabolic rate, that is to say the energetic expenditure necessary to live. And their conclusion is uplifting: "The values of the metabolic rate are higher for the extinct species". This means that the more energy a species spends, the lower its chances of survival. A slow way of life turns out to be an asset in the great march of evolution. The study specifies that this criterion can in no way be considered as the only one to come into play, but that its role is largely "significant". But laziness can also turn into peril

Bruce Lieberman, one of the authors of the survey, has some ideas on the reasons that might justify such a role of slowness in evolution. In the British newspaper The Guardian , he explains that the most lethargic and lazy beings "had lower energy or food requirements and could therefore be content with little when times were bad".

But that procrastinators do not rejoice too quickly, it should not be inferred that being lazy is a benefit in all circumstances. As the researchers themselves indicate, the framework of this study is limited in space and time, so in scope. Samples are for molluscs only, and limited to the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, a duration of 5 million years represents little evolutionary scale. Lieberman also tells the Guardian that "lazy people are sometimes the ones who consume the most resources." "The laziness of mankind, when it comes to trying to stop the changes we are causing on the planet, may be the greatest danger that our own species faces," he adds.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Aug 2018.


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