It is a curious phenomenon
that virtually all humans
procrastinate continuously,
in one form or another,
throughout their lifetimes.

Procrastination is as widespread as any behavior
that we observe. Yet from the view of evolution
what possible benefit does it provide?

It is clear enough what harm it can do
in slowing down efficiency
and disrupting the normal pattern of activity.

Perhaps it is a freak accident of genetics,
a mutated gene which persists
in causing the untimeliness of events
without causing enough harm to the species
to threaten its survival.

But what about its benefits?

One possibility is that
procrastination may act as a balance
against rapid efficiency, in order to maintain
a slower, steadier pace within the time demands
of our personal and social lives.

Another theory is that by putting something off
which needs doing,
we tend to focus more intently
on the thing in question
when we are ultimately confronted with the deadline.


4 Comments on “Procrastination”

  1. Name April 2, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    I am procrastinating right now. I really need to get something done, but it is 3 am and i can’t bring myself to do it I don’t see your theories as an explanation for my behavior at the moment. One thing I can say though is that there is a lot of negative emotion attached.

    I think there are various reasons for various procrastinations. Perhaps we can catagorise different kinds of procrastinations and get into reasons for each kind after that?

    • Angelique May 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      – You’re so right, about travel being a cdiuont for self-evaluation and growth. It’s funny how discovering exotic new places leads us right back to the basic truths that are held inside our heads and hearts. (And the road food is a nice side benefit—Lord almighty, THAT GNOCCHI!)So nice to see you back here. I’m excited to hear more!

      • Choliq December 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

        Multiple reasons: $10 is on the edge of too exnspeive (although if you made it pay-as-you-wish I’d toss at fiver your way), AND I can access the online version from anywhere (library, etc), AND I don’t have a currently open PayPal account, AND I’d rather not add more software to my Linux-based lightweight little writing netbook, AND since reading the comments I get the feeling I won’t be able to transfer the desktop version between my computers. And that last one, dear Mad Scientist, is a total turn-off. I’m cheap and I’m a casual Linux user. I’m used to vague software licensing and the freedom to drop a purchased bit of code onto any machine I want as many times as I want as long as it’s for noncommercial use. I only paid to register mIRC (a program I was using daily for years) because I was reassured that I could re-install my licensed copy without a problem. And mIRC is free to download/trial and only nags on startup, so I knew what I was getting when I paid to register the same program, without the 30-second nag screen and with an easy way to reinstall.I love WriteorDie’s online functionality and definitely still want to support it/you in other ways like referring people to the site and giving helpful suggestions. I’m just not titillated by the desktop option. 😉

  2. Miguel December 16, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    , if I found all your software ufeusl I might donate up to $10 to your project without buying your software. Others mentioned computer clutter and I’m an app collector because I try and recommend software to people that can get messy, so unless I wanted the software, I’d rather just donate to the project/developer (understanding it’s not tax-deductable call it a gift if you’d like) than pay for the software if that makes any sense.Looking through all the features, I just saw that the desktop app has wordwars built-in. I’d still rather try a wordwar online before making a purchase, but this does change things a little for me. We’ll see. It has to be good enough to make me want to suffer through Air.(My prejudice against Air & Java should not reflect upon their actual performance. I have no proof that these platforms currently impact computer performance, it’s truly just my own stinking snobby been-using-computers-since-1980s prejudices.)

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