How to win over procrastination

William Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet is tragedy of inaction or the tragedy of procrastination. In day to day mundane life, delays or habit of putting off decisions, mar many happy events. How the theory of three seconds rule works from the archives of brain’s learnt and well stored memory? writes Ranju Walia

Eyes tired, shoulders stiff, slowed reflexes and responses. Only boredom and irritability.

Himani was nervous and impatient. Even a coffee break was not helpful. The noises of sipping coffee and tapping of key board coming from the adjacent cubicles were annoying her badly.

She opted for escapism. Hurriedly packed her stuff, switched off the computer, grabbed the car keys and pushed off.

Somewhere in her mind there was a huge “to do” list haunting and it was gaining a large ghostly figure with every passing day.

She thought that leaving the hustle bustle of work place might bring her some peace of mind. She was trying hard to escape from that actually “not to do” list.

Her car moved slowly on the road. Her hands were gently maneuvering the steering wheel. She knew that not only her office table but her house was a big mess as well. She also understood the urgency of organising things at both ends but had no perfect action plan to do the needful. Her anxiety and nervousness were making her impatient day by day.

She wanted to change everything that was presently going through her life but was deprived of will and motivation. She even tried to listen to certain well established preachers to take lessons on life managing mantras. Every sentence or quote of motivation seemed amazing but failed to generate the chain of will to do and managing the hocus pocus of her life. Even long soothing talks with a very close friend weren’t effective . Many times she pushed herself hard to sit in a Burmese position on a mat to practice meditation but soon felt exhausted and lied down. Her brain had now become a big blank place.

Driving today seemed a tough job. She rolled down her car window and started gazing outside. Few minutes later she spotted a chocolate shop and headed towards it to treat herself with a dark chocolate. Soon she entered the shop. The aroma inside was refreshing and so was the charm on the faces of employees. At one counter a small group of children was giving orders for picking their favourite flavours and on the other counter a couple was deeply engrossed in the careful selection of various gift packs. She moved towards the third counter where a man was almost done with his order list and was about to receive his coupon. She stood behind him and soon ordered her favourite flavour of dark chocolate to the smiling face sitting at the counter …..Paid the amount, received her coupon and headed towards the supply counter.

Immediately after receiving the packet she opened it and allowed the chocolate to melt inside her mouth. It was enjoyable but even then there was no change in her gait. She started slouching towards the car.


Just at the gate she collided with a fast paced child and both of them lost their grips and dropped their chocolates on the ground. The child picked up his chocolate piece, put inside his mouth, said a polite sorry in a muffled voice and moved on.

Himani did not pick her piece and continued slouching.

With great remorse she started her car and reached the main road. Now she is near the traffic lights . Countdown started.


Oops ..

Some technical fault occurred and it got stuck at 3 seconds.

She took a deep sigh. Threw her head down on the wheel .


Something happened inside her brain’s thought process and her eyes glittered. She recalled the whole incident. Coming out of the office, buying chocolate, dropping it and then the child’s quick action to save the piece of his savour .


That was amazing.

She suddenly recalled the theory of 3 seconds rule from the archives of her brain’s learnt and well stored memory. If we can pick the dropped food item within 3 seconds, we can eat it. If we fail to do so, we lose that charm by allowing it to get infectious .

How simple it was!!

She cursed herself for not understanding and co-relating this simple rule to her everyday life. She also regretted strongly for wasting her precious time to collect positive notes and quotes from preachers and achievers. The real motivation clicked her senses in just 3 seconds .

Fault rectified at both the sides!

There was a “go” signal.

She started the car. This time her posture was erect,hands on the wheel were more firm and expressions on the face looked smart.

Soon she reached home and settled on a chair. She saw yesterday’s scattered laundry on the couch, but was seriously not interested to manage it because at this moment she needed a glass of water and further use the washroom.

One, two and three…..

She got up and started managing the clothes. It was all done. Once relaxed, she chugged water, used washroom, felt good and pushed off to accomplish other titbits. Time passed .

Stars covered the sky and she surrendered herself to her bed with a feeling of a day well spent.

She found her mantra and was organised.

Surprising!! Isn’t it?

As if some magician used his magic wand and chanted the spell “Aabra ka Daabra “and the whole scenario changed.


It was real life.

Actually the phase of procrastination made her life topsy turvy and unsurprisingly Himani is not the only victim who fell into this trap. This happens with all of us at some point of life.

Somewhere something goes terribly wrong and we lose our focus .

Ask yourself !

I am sure that you might have experienced this sometime in your life or may be going through this phase.

Himani found her mantra, likewise you should also start exploring the strategies for managing your life and work load.

Remember….It’s a game, where you are both the player and spectator. Don’t doubt your abilities and  just hit the target. Never ever worry about missing it. Give your best without any fear of failure. You can not succeed everytime but at the same time don’t stop trying too.

Forgive yourself for mismanaging your life and work in the past because actually it is past.



Pick the present tasks, take left outs in between and prioritise. Find out that span of hours in a day when your working capacity or effectiveness is at the peak. Picking up task with commitment is another important step. Rephrase your internal dialogue from ‘I can’t do it’ to ‘I can try’ or ‘I will do it’. While working hard reward yourself suitably for further motivation.

Try hard to minimise the number of distractions around. Keep yourself away from “idiot box”,social media and gossip sessions in between. You can reward yourself with all these after  successfully accomplishing the task.

Few days and few attempts. Your life will be organised in all the fronts. Don’t forget to divide your time appropriately to all the tasks. After all you have only 24 hours in a day.

Rest I am leaving to you only.

You are the best judge of your abilities.

Good luck and best wishes for your organised moments in life …