Procrastination is postponement of misery

Acharya Prashant
4 min readApr 9, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Acharya Prashant: What is it that you shift to the future? Do you shift that to the future, which is really important, really enjoyable?

Listener: Sir, we shift to the future something which is not useful.

AP: So, procrastination is nothing but the postponement of misery. ‘If I do it right now, I will feel miserable.’ So I somehow try to escape by sending the thing into the future. Are you getting it?

L: Yes, Sir.

AP: If you find yourself procrastinating a lot of times, if you find that you have fixed a schedule for yourself and you can’t stick to it, then that is a clear indicator that you have filled your life up with miserable tasks. Then it is a clear indication that the climate in the mind is that of suffering and irritation.

One does not postpone joy. One does not postpone freedom and love. One only postpones suffering. And that is procrastination.

Kindly do not think that procrastination is about laziness. We often think that lazy people procrastinate. No, it’s not about laziness. It’s about the climate of the suffering mind.

You want to escape the misery, so you are sending it away. You are saying it need not happen right now, it must happen at some other time. So let’s not ask, ‘How to end procrastination?’ Let’s simply get in to the question of living in a way, in which there is no need to procrastinate, in which the very thought of procrastination does not arise. Can one live in that way? Is that kind of a mind possible? Procrastination is always about the future. Right?

Procrastination means something apart from this moment. A mind that is immersed in the present will not procrastinate. And a mind that is continuously thinking of the future, will do nothing but procrastinate. This question is a very good opportunity to find out whether that kind of living is possible. And if it is not possible, then you are saying, ‘Life must be hell. Life must remain hell. And I have reconciled to the fact that there is no other option available. I have given up. I am dead.’

Acharya Prashant