One of the causes why things do not go on in life as we would like is informality; It is the bad habit of not fulfilling the commitments made in time or of leaving them aside. This is known as procrastination, which is the habit of postponing what should be done now and leaving it for later.
But the real problem is not leaving things for tomorrow, but the next day they will be postponed to do others. The priority is at least important. That mania, more than an exception, is the rule. It is common in any area of society. There is not one procrastinator equal to another, each one has its own personal pretexts to postpone what needs to be done. And as nothing happens when we do not do what we should do, or at least we believe, the fact of postponing things reaffirms our neglect.
In the university, procrastination has negative effects among students, manifesting as stress and, consequently, lowering the productivity of some and altering their levels of health and well-being. In those students who are in the process of writing their theses, especially in the master’s or doctorate, procrastination becomes more common than in other stages of their studies, with the consequent result of having to apply to write it at the last minute, at full speed and badly, or, worse, to be bordered on not finishing it.
Chronic procrastination, according to Jaffe (Why wait? The science behind procrastination, 2013), is accompanied by laziness, apathy, boredom, fatigue, depression, insomnia, underestimation, pushing the individual to isolate and cloistered, mentally and / or physically, what happens when the subject enters a critical stage. And the problem is, says Webb (2016), the human brain is programmed to procrastinate.
And what happens when society in general, as well as the individual, procrastinates, delaying actions that must be undertaken without delay?
Lemery, Williams and Farmer, scientific editors at the universities of Colorado and Harvard, suggest that future generations will probably call our era “the era of the great procrastination” (2014), assuming there is an intellectual society after climate change. This, due to the negligent position and way of addressing the problem of climate change by governments, businessmen, intellectuals, the military and society in general, because, despite the facts that show that the global climate is seriously threatened, and the nature that we know and humanity, the world community only compromises by halves, hesitates to take weighty actions, and wastes time in international meetings that do not lead to anything concrete.
John Perry, Stanford professor, reasons in The art of procrastination (2012) that the university professors are not exempt from the procrastinator syndrome, and, setting themselves as an example, declare that: “for months I tried to write this essay. Did I find the time to do it? In a way, yes, I have several articles and a textbook to write, a project by the National Science Foundation to start, and draft doctoral theses to review. So, I’m writing this book as a way of not doing all those things. “
On the subject of procrastination, books and articles have been written in bulk, in all languages. In the American university there are countless students who have dedicated 3 or 4 years of their doctoral research to investigate the twists and turns of procrastination in student life, at work, at home, as well as the ungraspable profile of the procrastinator.
Without a doubt, we will always find something more interesting in which to occupy the time that we must devote to carry out the urgent.