Now or never!

Whenever we are performing a task, we give priority to the ‘most important’, followed by the ‘important’, while the ‘less’ and ‘least important’ take the backseat.
An e-mail that one sets aside to be answered later in the day or the next day could be of high importance to its sender. A telephone call seeking some information might be of least importance to the receiver, but of utmost importance to the caller.
People tend to procrastinate for various reasons. It could be because they are caught up with some mundane tasks or they have other priorities, according to psychologists.
Procrastination can prove costly sometimes. An expatriate businessman who was in the habit of postponing things had to cough up a huge sum as fine as he had delayed renewing his and his family’s Omani visas by more than four months.
A citizen from an interior village found himself in an embarrassing situation because of his procrastination. Since he had delayed the renewal of his passport — it had expired some months ago — he had to return from the airport after cancelling his trip to a foreign country.
These are just some of the examples of how procrastination can affect us in our everyday life.
Says Sumaiya bint Humaid al Kindi, an officer from the Information Technology Authority (ITA), “I don’t leave any e-mail or message without a response on the same day, especially at work. I believe most of the work gets delayed because the person concerned may not have seen your file and you have to follow up with them.”
“Transactions require several internal approvals and requests that are unnecessary, again putting things on hold,” she says.
According to Sumaiya, many people think “everything can wait”. For them, it is normal to have some 200 or more unread e-mails accumulated over days.
“My advice is never delay anything you are working on or asked to work on. Always teach your children and raise them to develop this as a habit,” she says.
Saskia Stauble and Michael Odermatt, a Swiss music duo in the city, feel there are some who delay the payment of bills or making other payments.
“Worse is you need to wait for people to take your projects forward. And the consequence: loss of time and money,” they said.
‘Chronic procrastinators’ continuously avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions (excuses) to put them on hold.
Anu Joseph, Assistant Manager of Media and PR at Abeer Hospital, feels that at work, get the job done and be done with it. At least there would be more tick marks on your ‘to do list’ every day and the pleasure these tick marks give is inexplicable.
“I don’t like to put things on hold. Depending on its importance, work gets done. My simple mantra is whether it is boring or unappealing, work has to be done.”
Reena AbdulRahman, IOCC Manager at SalamAir, urges people to value the importance of every individual irrespective of their differences.
“I have procrastinated on one thing in life: my health. Things that were supposed to be done in time wasn’t done. It is with the support of my organisation that I’m leading a healthy life. My message to friends is take care of your health,” says Reena.
“Don’t procrastinate in life. Be organised, think ahead, understand the feelings of others and be optimistic in life,” she said.
Julie, a media professional, shared a tip on how to handle the problem of procrastination. “If we delay things, we will regret later in life. So never hold off things.”
Do it when you get the opportunity, she says. “And believe in the saying, ‘Opportunity knocks only once’, and move ahead”.
Procrastination reflects on our constant struggle for self-control, which will give birth to negative emotions.
“Try to get a minute for yourself every morning to focus on what is important for this upcoming day. Find your very own steps — even if they are very little. Take those steps,” say Saskia and Michael.
According to them, one needs to be flexible and open in life. “Only then can we get the most of it and go beyond our expectations.”
Life, they say, remembers us every day and asks us to leave our comfort zone because “only outside of it can you move things forward”.