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Procrastination is NOT laziness - Rest!!

By Laudika yaNdangi
Published in Opinions
December 01, 2021
3 min read
Procrastination is NOT laziness - Rest!!

Lately I have been suffering from intense procrastination and spending more and more time on my phone. I, of course, chalked it out to just me being addicted to my phone. So I tried putting my phone as far away from me as possible, which was a tremendous failure, of course. Even writing this blog took almost a whole week for me to properly sit down and start typing.


It is easy to say that I am addicted to my phone or that I have problems disciplining myself to sit down and work without there being some sort of pressure, which is honestly true, but I’ve also come to the realisation that there might be something else that I am ignoring.

I have always prided myself on allowing myself to be vulnerable, understanding that being a man doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to always be strong or emotionless as a lot of my fellow men have been raised. I understand mental illness is a thing and that it is something that can affect me too, but I have always been ignorant towards it whenever it does.


Procrastination is not something that’s unique to only a few people, every single person procrastinates more than once in their lifetime. However procrastination becomes a problem when it starts to counter one’s desires. William McCown, associate dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences at the University of Louisiana suggests that procrastination is a problem of emotion regulation, not time management.

“People’s emotional triggers influence how they feel, which in turn influences how they behave.”

Most clients with “chronic procrastination” will often come to counselling for concerns such as marital problems, depression, ADHD and anxiety. However, the younger generations seek counseling for procrastination only. But Procrastination is not the only problem, in fact it is just a symptom of an underlying problem.


What we believe about mental illness is usually formed through the experiences we go through, both culturally and educational. If you grew up with your family members talking about a shunned “crazy” family member who got hospitalized or can’t function in society because of his condition, then your experience of mental illness is already going to be skewed by those experiences. As an African kid this is very much true. It’s probably not a new thing to the reader about how taboo mental illness in Africa is. Even for someone who prides themselves for being open minded about these things, procrastination can really make you hate yourself.

Like I said, it took me a whole week to properly sit down and start writing this blog (ironic, I know), and then another week to properly finish it, and that whole week was spent by me looking at my screen for two hours and putting it down after only writing two sentences. Each day will then end with me being annoyed with myself and telling myself that my laziness will eventually be my downfall.


However my procrastination wasn’t caused by laziness or lack of interest but because of the amount of pressure I was putting on myself. My brain was literally telling me that I am not good enough so why even bother. It also didn’t help that every time I was on my phone, I would go to instagram and see my peers doing what I’d thought at the time was better than me.

Being raised as my mother’s first born and my father’s only son, I’ve always have this constant belief that I have no time to be lazy, I’m going to be the one to take care of everyone around me so if I’m feeling so much pressure right now I should just learn to deal with it. Even as I became more open about mental health this feeling has always remained.


Recently a friend asked me what my plans for Sunday were and the only response I had was “I’m working”, I literally had no other plans besides this and I can’t remember the last time I probably hung around or even contacted the few friends that I have. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget to rest and when our minds start shutting down we chalk that down to being lazy and then we continue to punish ourselves. And when mental illness is such a taboo in your culture that the word for “depression” doesn’t even exist in your language, this type of feeling hardly ever goes away.

I mean most African governments devote less than 1% of their budgets to mental health services. While in countries like South Africa that actually have mental health facilities, only 14 percent of the population can afford them. So already, being an African means being forced to handle these feelings on your own and as an African man, you’re basically told to ignore them.


I guess the point of this blog is that, procrastination is not laziness, it’s your brain telling you that something is wrong.

What I have recently been telling myself is that, a lot of things are not under my control, I’m 25 years old and I still have time to grow old. I can’t start doing it now. And whenever I feel like my brain is not working anymore, I have the right to take a breather and try again another time. The Nap Ministry on Instagram says, ‘proudly proclaiming you are a workaholic is not the flex you think it is” and I agree.



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Laudika yaNdangi

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