Yücel Culture Foundation established a team to produce digital content, and I am one of the members of that team. Each member of the team was required to produce at least one piece of content per week. While I confidently believed I could meet this goal through writing, days passed, and I never managed to complete a single piece.

As I struggled to write, I became anxious, dissatisfied with the drafts I prepared, and postponed them for later. I kept thinking I would sort it out later, and it would be good. However, as I procrastinated, the task of producing something enjoyable became unpleasant. Eventually, I decided to write about the situation of procrastination. I thought I could write about it because that was the situation I found myself in, and if I couldn't get out of it, then perhaps I could draw something else from it.

We often say, "Let today pass, this week will pass, and it will be sorted." I often write sentences in my journal that start with "one day." One day, hopefully, it will be like this; one day, hopefully, I will be happy; one day, maybe I will sort out some things. I repeated this sentence so many times that I found myself thinking: Will that day ever really come? Can all my desires fit into one day? What difference will the future make? Is there even a 'later'? Is there such a day? This thought turned into a wish: I hope that after my sentences that start with 'one day,' that day will come.

"Procrastination is the greatest obstacle to life because no one knows when tomorrow will come." Aristotle

Postponement is sometimes an avoidance of responsibility.

Others may give us advice about how much postponement takes away from our lives. We can read quotes from writers, philosophers. This can be effective at times but can also make us feel worse. We think, "I'm postponing life and missing out." Eventually, we both postpone and fall into pessimism. As we idealize others' full-on approach to life, we feel left behind in all moments and events. What do we have left? What are we doing while so many wonderful things are happening and ending? Such thoughts pull us down further and, ultimately, we get nowhere.

So, what should be done?

Why do people procrastinate, what do they lose?

"...postponing things is the greatest waste of life; procrastination snatches away each day, taking it from us before it's even arrived and robbing us of the opportunity to live today by promising a future. The greatest obstacle to life is the expectation of holding onto tomorrow and consuming today.” Seneca

Postponing has consequences that can vary from person to person.

Before writing this piece, I asked people from various backgrounds the following question: How would your life be if you hadn't postponed things? This brought regrets to the minds of many, while some claimed they never postponed anything.

The most common responses were: I would have studied at a better school/department, I would be doing a better job, I would be richer, I would have a better life. Besides these, I also received more emotional responses: If I hadn't postponed spending time with my mom, I would have had more opportunities to do things together with her; my friendships would be stronger, I would be happier, I would be a better father. Someone even told me that postponing had been good for entertaining the idea of suicide, and that's how they are still alive. There were many answers, and most revealed a different kind of inner sigh.

While constantly postponing may steal our lives, my intention here is not just to say, "Let's stop postponing." Because postponing is not merely laziness; it has various reasons and motivators. Perhaps the crucial thing is to identify those reasons and do something about them. Or maybe we just need a bit of rest. Or a bit of kindness to ourselves. Whatever it is, instead of blaming or being harsh on ourselves (as I often do to myself), it is essential to stop and take a more gentle approach.

Though it may sound cliché, starting with small things, congratulating ourselves for them, and trusting the process is crucial.

Why do we procrastinate?

"Depression, anxiety, and procrastination, the names we give to these things, are actually our ways of mourning ourselves. We mourn every 'me' that wanted to be born but couldn't. We mourn every potential that wanted to be but couldn't." Nihan Kaya

To postpone is actually a form of mourning.

I also asked the people I posed the above question to why they postponed doing something about the things they regretted. Many had significant responses once again. I received a plethora of answers like depression, anxiety disorder, indecision, not being aware of it at the time, and so on.

Although postponing might be a reason for not achieving things, I realized there are thousands of reasons behind procrastination itself. So, perhaps instead of lamenting over why I'm failing, it's crucial to focus on "why am I procrastinating."

This isn't a scientific paper, dear readers. I'm just contemplating on the things causing my current situation. After scolding myself for why I can't do it, I decided to think a bit about why I'm procrastinating. Maybe this could be beneficial for you too.

"Every morning is a new beginning, every evening is a passage to remember. Between the two, there is beauty." Hermann Hesse

In conclusion, while our youth flows on one side and there are so many things to be done on the other, let's try to calm down a bit and focus on ourselves. Because we are all we've got. Feeling bad, falling into pessimism, struggling with feelings of inadequacy may be painful aspects of our youth, but we are still alive and living. Even if it's challenging to feel good these days, let's still live!

"The meaning of life is to live." Albert Camus

Congratulations to the valued readers who have read this far, who have been able to keep their focus on these words. I hope that we all reach our best versions.

With much love,

Rosie Lou

Gülpembe Akdi
Yücel Cultural Foundation
Voluntary Author

translated by Ekremcan Bakır

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