Reading time: 4min.

by Shaun Wells

Procrastination versus masturbation

I once told my 14-year-old cousin that I was a specialist in procrastination. He laughed gleefully and asked what porn websites I used. HAHA! “Noooo not masturbation, procrastination, it’s when people waste time to avoid having to do the tasks that they eventually have to face.” “Oh right” he replied, “But still what porn sites do you use?”

Now I think about it, procrastination and masturbation aren’t particularly dissimilar. Both require little effort – procrastination is easier than tackling the inevitable task ahead and masturbation is certainly easier than convincing a girl to have sex with you. Both require only one person to be involved and neither effectively achieves a valuable outcome (No pun intended). Oh, and both are ill advised to do at work!

Lazy people are often demonised. I mean, who wants to be around or EMPLOY someone with no get-up-and-go attitude. If I ran a business, I would be looking for people with a pro-active work ethic who want to push themselves every day to achieve more, this is the basis of productivity after all. I don’t believe anyone displaying a lethargic attitude during a job interview will get the job, maybe the most heavily qualified people but it’s rare.

The natural human mind tends to wander towards our interests naturally, curiosity and questioning is the basis of innovation and creativity. The thing is, workplaces do not want wandering minds, they want focused and task-oriented people sharing an organisational goal. Maybe this is why schoolteachers are generally quite tough with lack of concentration in the classroom? I would usually be quite quiet when I was in class, writing ideas or music under the table or just staring out the window thinking about something I’d seen or heard earlier. If I was caught, I would be in the same amount of trouble as if I’d been disturbing the other kids with incessant conversation; not particularly fair but hey, teachers have a tricky job of slowly layering the expectations of the world onto a group of hyper-active horny adolescents.

Procrastination or lazy behaviour usually occurs from a lack of interest or stimulus in a specific area. If interest is not fostered in some regard, the mind tends to think about other things – a form of escapism I guess. I cherish my lazy/procrastination time! Even at work, I try to get through the daily necessities as soon as possible to make room for some freethinking and time wasting activities. Apart from the few following careers they really love, why on earth would someone not be apathetic to a 9-5, 5 days a week slog? The job market demands so much from it’s employees these days that disinterest in working has to be hidden consistently, even though it’s probably one of the only common interests everyone in the office has!

Some can’t stand being idle; these people are usually the ones demonising procrastination and can see no value in “wasting time”. I’m by no means encouraging anyone to fritter away the time afforded to them, as being productive is imperative when moving forward in life. But there is a definite benefit to taking the time to create some “mind space” during the daily hustle; I would posit that a constant focus on someone else’s goal is borderline unhealthy behaviour as it is.

Anyway, I’m off to the toilet to … procrastinate.