It is amazing how humanity keeps repeating the same mistakes all over again. We keep needing the age-old words of wisdom to remind and teach us about the same old challenges. Simply because we move one step forward and two steps back.
Procrastination is the avoidance of a task(s) that necessities it be carried out—you adjourn to tomorrow what could be done today (and the fact that tomorrow never comes can make it an endless situation).
The image is a tale of a frog that dies because it kept procrastinating. It has inspired one of our colleagues; following is the extract that moved Shadrack.
Put a frog into a vessel fill with water and start heating the water. As the temperature of the water begins to rise, the frog adjusts its body temperature accordingly.
The frog keeps adjusting its body temperature with the increasing temperature of the water.
Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog cannot adjust anymore. At this point, the frog decides to jump out.
The frog tries to jump but it is unable to do so because it has lost all its strength in adjusting with the rising water temperature.
Very soon, the frog dies.
What killed the frog?
Think about it!
I know many of us will say the boiling water. But the truth about what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when to jump out.
Let us decide when to jump! Let’s JUMP while we still have the strength
We all need to adjust to people & situations, but we [also] need to be sure when we need to adjust & when we need to move on.
There are times when we need to face the situation and take appropriate actions.
If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or mentally they will continue to do so.
If the frog were placed on a pan and the heat turned on, the frog would not hesitate to jump out of the pan. However, when there is water in the pan, it returns interesting results.
Let us elaborate the frog in context. What we may not appreciate here is the biology and physiology of the frog’s anatomy. Don’t worry, we have no intention of going all geeky here.
Put simply, it takes energy to adjust body temperature whether it is the frogs or human body. The longer the frog stayed in the water the more it needed to keep adjusting its temperature which translates into tons of energy by froggy standards.
With most of its energies spent, the frog has no more resources to draw from even when it appreciates that its death is imminent.
Too bad. . .
The frog loses its life because it procrastinated. It may attempt to finally flee at the last minute but its earlier bad decisions catch up with it.
Not all cases of procrastination may result in loss of lives, but the after effects have can spiral to your person and the lives of everyone else around you.
The Doctors Strike in Kenya – 2017
Let us use a practical real life situation. The doctors strike in Kenya that is this far in its 3rd month and ongoing. Prior to date, they signed an agreement with the then Administration and new pay scales and responsibilities.
The government dragged its feet (procrastinating) not following through on promises made. Doctors got impatient (water boiling) and implemented the strike.
Three months down the road, the lead doctors in the Doctors Union are arrested for contempt of court for one month. The Cabinet Secretary (CS) trades accusations with his Permanent Secretary (PS) which in turn sabotages and scuttle the negotiations for the doctor’s return to work.
Two days after the doctor’s arrest they are released to continue the negotiations. We now have a pissed of doctors fraternity (dead frog) who have dug in their positions citing lack of good will from the CS and the PS.
The strike is still on, and the doctors are not willing to negotiate with the CS nor his PS.
There has been lots of untold suffering because of the strike. Resulted from procrastination, and lots of energy spent on trading blame. In the end, the public has paid dearly for it.
Electioneering and Procrastinating (voter registration process)
Kenya is now in its electioneering year. People have been encouraged to go out in huge numbers and register to vote. Voter apathy has led to very low numbers registering. Not even the efforts of the President Uhuru and the Opposition Leader Odinga have been able to dent it.
Interestingly, after deadline run out, some noble citizens run to court to seek an extension. What were they doing before; why did they not register when they had the time?
Well, the court granted a two days extension.
There were lines a kilometer long of people seeking to register in the two day extension. They lost a whole day and more just because they chose to hold back. The IEBC staff were overworked and their gadgets pushed to the limits.
With these kinds of delays caused by procrastinating individuals cost us a ton.
Procrastination is one of humanities biggest challenges, it costs losses to the extent of £76 billion at the workplace, per year in Britain alone. Globally, a whopping $650 billion is lost in productivity and innovation. Shocking isn’t it?
The affliction has ruined millions of lives and counting. It has gotten to a point where sufferers now require regular therapy and other treatments. One person in five, according to new research are now so badly afflicted their health, careers and relationships are threatened.
Procrastination may lead to a variety of psychological and physical effects, which may include (but not limited to) insomnia, lowered self-esteem, and depression. It also affects your health (albeit indirectly) by discouraging doctor or dentist visits. Sound familiar?
Procrastinators can sabotage themselves. Often making choices/decisions putting obstacles in their own path. They are likely to choose paths that hurt their performance.
Are You Ready to change your time-wasting ways?
We need to break the procrastination, as nation and individually. Will you be a part of it?
In John F. Kennedy’s words: Ask not what your country can do for you. . .
Change starts with you . . .
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. Mark Twain famously quipped. Procrastination is detrimental to your personal and professional lives.
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Courtesy of Shadrack Kiprop Biwott — Mentor Kenya