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Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Apparently the "war" on procrastination has been raging around the world. Hanging out on the Chinese twitter, I saw how the issue has become a fashionable epidemic among the ambitious and upward-mobile Chinese youths. Hmm. And of course self-help books that claim to cure your procrastination problem fill up bookshelves in the only bookstore left in my neighborhood.

I don't have any remedy to cure anybody's procrastination. I am bothered by my own apparent tendency to put off doing things that are unnecessary but not enjoyable, sometimes, occasionally. I can't cure myself or anyone of occasional laziness.

The thing is, I just recently realized that institutions and even companies that are supposed to be ruthless money-driven machines procrastinate, and far worse than any individual person. People put off not only doing their work but making decisions that affect others' work downstream. And the problem is rampant. Especially by the end of the year, all the previously unmade and delayed decisions have snowballed into a gigantic snowball that swallow a bunch of innocent bystanders who did nothing to contribute to the others' indecision and laziness.

Yeah, indeed, when institutional procrastination is far worse and destructive than minor transgression by individuals, why beat oneself up over it?

It's perfectly logical for institutions to procrastinate than individual persons, because an individual knows the direct and first-hand effect of delays in doing laundry and taking out trashing, but the effects of procrastinating on making decisions and doing work in an organization are almost completely painless, until your boss or colleague comes to your office and looks at you with disgust and reproach. It's all the more painless when employees on salary see no difference in their paycheck, regardless of how much they have slacked off.

Corporations are not people, and people seem to know that instinctively. That is why they don't give a shit at work.

1 comment:

Eugene Xia said...

Gita says: Gotta keep going. Gotta make the doughnuts. :-)

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