June 02, 2021

“Leave it for later, you’ve got time”

The clock’s pointers on the wall continue their journey and the minutes seem to run ceaselessly. When you turn your look in their direction, it’s like they perceive your presence, they run even faster. Music playing on the headphones and cell phone in hand to stop these thoughts. Studying does not progress but, at the same time, you are okay with ignoring it and you don’t want to be overwhelmed by stress again.

The above is just an example of procrastination. It is a state in which planned obligations cause people a feeling that they are unable to handle, either because they don’t stimulate their interest or because they expect perfect results. Thus, they postpone them and get consumed by activities that will help take their mind off of them, to burden some of the weight they feel. They convince themselves that there is enough time and that they will manage to fulfill their obligations easily, as soon as they return to them. These obligations, however, can take much longer than expected, resulting in anxiety and the thought of wasted time in the back of their mind.

The person now enters a survival mode, a state of fight or flight, having time as an opponent. They must hurry to catch up because they have lost time. But at the same time, they feel lost in the labyrinth of thoughts about what they have to do. They exaggerate them in their minds, and this freezes them, it makes them want to flee when they can't; they ought to face them. If they don’t have the necessary tools to deal with them, they won’t be able to get out of there. And this is a pity, because there is a possibility that they have worked hard for a goal important to them. The stone they push towards the top doesn’t seem to be able to withstand their weight and will fall, reminiscing Sisyphus.

Unlike Sisyphus, however, all the effort doesn’t need to start again from square one and all their effort is not wasted. So, at moments when everything seems to be against us, and we think we can’t make it, we can try another approach. For a moment, to distance ourselves from what is happening, for a moment, and to take a deep breath. A breath of calmness at first, a breath of strength and restoration. Being, thus, refreshed now, we will fulfill our obligations and we will feel more complete and calm with their realization.

Evidently, it is necessary to have a measure, with a combination of productivity and in-between breaks. It is not possible to be constantly productive, nor to ignore our obligations. A practical solution would be to create lists of our obligations and goals and classify them from more to less important. Achieving every obligation - every small "victory" - could be accompanied by a small "prize," such as a few minutes of music or a short walk.

Nowadays, the person may have many obligations and need to remain vigilant, in order to cope. This can make them feel like they are unable to do it. Temporary distancing -sparingly- and better organization can lighten some of the emotional weight off our shoulders and intensify positive emotions that will motivate and push us for further productivity. We can make it!

Photography by Stelios Floros

Thanasis Dellis

Hey! I’m Thanasis and I study in the department of Chemistry in AUTh. I listen to music fanatically; I laugh out loud and travel everywhere through my thoughts or a book. I’m thrilled by the vastness and the complexity of the human body and psychology. On this blog I express my thoughts and I invite all of you on this journey!

Chrysoula Toliopoulou (she/her)

A 20 year old optimist who is constantly striving to improve herself. I live by travelling, looking at the sky and observing my surroundings. Nature and space enthusiast, with grand affection towards the environment and any form of art but especially music! Gaining courage by volunteering and petting dogs! Also learning foreign languages in my free time but still struggle to communicate with people sometimes.

Nefeli Eklektou (she/her)

An indecisive perfectionist and translation enthusiast, with a passion for good literature and lindy hop dancing. You will catch her either journaling or songwriting on her piano, which she’s convinced understands her more than people. She’s also certain that it’s not her philosophical contemplations or underlying sarcasm that alienates her from said people.

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