My advice to people seeking justification for procrastination, let me begin by saying, there is no justification for procrastination in the mind of a master thinker; the Type A personality as we call them. The problem with Type A people, especially women, is that they don’t know when to stop. When is it that you stop and catch your breath? When is it that you stop and say OK! I think I have done enough and now I need to unwind a bit, just loosen up and let things go. My question is the moment you catch yourself actually relaxing or unwinding, the feeling of procrastination strikes in.
Someone just called up and his words had me shaken to the core. He said and I quote, ‘ I follow you on facebook and I see you either in gym (OK!) or having dinner or lunch with friends (Guilty as charged) and when I see you in Court or call you otherwise, I can only see you working or hear about some case. I don’t see you in the corridor or wasting time.’ Well! My facebook life of dinner/lunch is only weekends and not weekdays when I am slogging my ass off. And it is not out of compulsion but out of choice, to catch up with the never-ending to-do list. Yes, I workout every day and I don’t miss even one session unless physically impossible. It’s a different thing that I do laze around near the coffee machine to have my nth number of coffee inorder to wake myself up before working out in morning. That Coffee and Adrak ki Chai form the major part of my diet. Yes! I am on facebook and Whatsapp most of the time but that’s b’cos I have them logged in on my laptop. So where is procrastination in all of this, you ask?
It is there. It is the fear of becoming a procrastinator that I keep pushing myself beyond limits to ensure that I do not become one. But, there is always so much to do and so little time. There is so much to read in my profession, so much to understand for a newbie like me, so much catching up to reach up to the level of my peers who, unlike me, started early in the profession. It’s the fear of missing out! And you inevitably miss out! Some case law here, some news piece there, some random development and interestingly, the occupational hazard of being a lawyer is that everyone will ask you about your legal opinion on everything! Like someone asked me the other day, why do we have to stand up when the National Anthem is being sung/played, I can show my respect to the National Anthem by sitting down too. I would have wanted to tell him, please google it but then since I am the legal google, my patient answer was, ‘there is no judgment by the apex court, or a legal provision, or an administrative direction that makes it mandatory for people to stand during the National Anthem. That they do so is essentially an expression of personal respect.’ Pheww! Said that.
So my brother sent me and my sister -Arianna Huffington’s article on Lifehacker. That’s when Nirvana struck! It dawned on me that I am sleep deprived, constantly anxious about missing out on an opportunity, control freak – to the extent that if a class in gym gets canceled, I am lost. And I am no big shot, mind you. I am basically a person on the bottom most level of the legal pyramid, vying to get my 15 seconds of fame. Does that make me insecure, yes it does! Because, there are always brighter, younger people, willing to put in more hours than me, having more cranial capacity than me, may be getting better opportunities than me. So have I grown old? The answer is both yes and no! Yes, because I feel old sometimes (not always) and No, because that thirst to learn new skills, to do new cases, to learn as much as I can – from everyone I meet. I am not in a rut because every day brings with it scores of possibilities.
But can I still do guilt-free procrastination? The 67 Ted Talks (Yeah my-go-to-guide-for-all-things-wonderful) on procrastination (and it is noteworthy to mention here that I did not watch all 67 of them, Thank you very much!) Yes! I can. I am going to sleep. I am going to rediscover the value of sleep, ignite a new feminist issue. Well! Everyone is sleeping around, so I might as well do it. And as Arianna Huffington said, ‘ We are literally going to sleep our way to the top!’ Yeah that sounds about right! I can still have guilt-free procrastination, while probably ensuring more productivity and efficiency (I have an MBA degree also, therefore, the staple show-off jargon!).
As an after thought – Hell! If nothing works… I can always procrastinate sleeping!
(DISCLAIMER: Too much use of the letter ‘I’ signifying a tendency of attention seeking behavior and/or narcissism. Kindly bear.)