John Aniobi is a Catholic priest of the Catholic Diocese of Awgu. He is currently on a mission in Maradi, Niger Republic.

Nature has so much planned itself that we can learn so much from it. Imagine when it should be morning, we wake up and see that it is morning, and when it should be night, you see that there is night. Therefore, nature obeys its goal and it follows its normal formular, and it is always prompt. If nature behaves in this way, why is it that we find it difficult to follow the natural way of life? In the morning, why would we not rise and begin pursuing our goal? Why do we sleep, thinking that we still have time to do what we should do today?  After whiling away with our precious God-given time, we would want God to do a miracle, we would want him to disorganise his perfect nature and work according to our desire. The lessons we learn from the way nature operates should always prompt us to action. We should be able to set our goals accordingly. We should be careful of “PROCRASTINATION” which is the greatest enemy of our Goal

Every institution, company has a goal, which helps in organising its prospects. Often, they have a stretched goal that every member must have in view for success to be achieved. Also, individually, from our very tender age, we began to hear, and we are been taught to set goals. Our parents and teachers made us understand the importance of setting a goal in life. We, therefore, grow with a lot of prospects. This is made obvious on the questions that are often posed to us as regards what we would like to be when we grow. The responses are always the same. We hear responses like; when I grow, I would like to be a “Doctor”, “Lawyer”, “Engineer”,” pilot”, and so on. These are all dreams and aspirations, and the children wishing to be all these do not know what it takes to be any of the above. They are living in the ideal world or better said in the sweet and succulent dream world, where everything, seems to be easy and simple. Very few attain that aspiration. So many factors may be the reasons, but we are to dealing with one of the greatest enemies to our goals and destiny “PROCRASTINATION”

Procrastination” or “procrastinate was borrowed by English speakers in the 16th century from Latin “procrastinates”, which itself evolved from the prefix “pro”, meaning “forward,” and “Crastinus”, meaning “belonging to tomorrow.”  Hence, to procrastinate therefore means “to move or act slowly to fall behind”. It typically implies blameworthy delay, especially through laziness or apathy. Therefore, we should know immediately that procrastination is blameworthy. We are to be blamed for the failures we recorded because of our failure to overcome the paroxysmal and violent attack of procrastination in our lives.

Procrastination is an enemy within, it is always in the mind that accepts its invitation, and it directs our thought towards believing that we can still do it another time that is not now. Procrastination is like a deadly disease that eats deep inside us and paralyses our will and creates in us redundancy and laziness and at last frustration. Shakespeare would opine; “Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends”.

Delay often has a dangerous and pathetic end that pains. Procrastination is toxic and poisonous; it gives us fake hope and makes us believe that we have all the time in the world to achieve our goals. It encourages that if we waste today, it has no meaning. It reminds us that we still have tomorrow and next year for us to achieve what we want in life. But such a mindset is often the mindset of a failed mind. Starting early will open an avalanche of positive results that will create more opportunities for advancement and success.

Procrastination is the cause of so many failures we experience in society. We cannot achieve anything if we continue to procrastinate. I had a friend who told me that he has an assignment to write in March. I was shocked, that he was not able to finish the assignment in April when he should submit it.  When I asked him; why he could not finish early? His answer was a true indication of a recorded failure due to procrastination.

When I was in student, I realised that when assignments are given, it is always better to start the assignment immediately after it was given, rather than waiting till the last days of submission. I realised that once I start on time, I will always come out with a better research work. Not only that, but I will also have a better knowledge of the area of assignment. Remember, that you may delay, but time does not. When you procrastinate and fail to attack the assignment adequately, the result must be poor, and you may be able to defend the assignment.

The question one may ask is, how do I know that I am being eaten up by what I see as a virus of Procrastination? How do I fall victim to such a “malady”? To these questions, I will offer some suggestions which I think should be a warning bell that tells us to pay serious attention to our activities. It will also serve as a remedy to an everlasting change.

Not being time conscious is a bad sign and is a typical exposition of a careless personality. Underlying such carelessness is procrastination. Time consciousness is credibly positive. it is a sign of maturity and it is an outward sign of our inner disposition.  M. Scott Peck an American psychiatrist opined “until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it”.  Therefore, how we value ourselves is seen in how we value our time. By implication, it means that so many people do not value themselves. In his reflection on being time conscious, Samuel Smile a Scottish author and government reformer noted “ Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever”

So many people say they have no time or that they do not have enough time. Such a statement is one of the greatest fallacies of all time. We have enough time, but we are not time conscious. H. Jackson Brown an American author would warn those who think they don’t have enough time; thus, “Don`t say you don`t have enough time. you have the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Mother Theresa, Michelangelo, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Therefore, we have enough time, but the problem is that we do not know how to manage it.

Have you ever seen those who are habitual late comers, such persons are fathers of procrastination. They attend every activity late and they do not have problems again with it. One may think that such persons have misunderstood Oscar Wilde who opined; “I am always late on principle, my principle being that punctuality is the thief of time” Such persons stay in their houses doing nothing. They are not even aware they will be late because they just come to activities when they feel like.  Such persons are in a serious problem and they live in confusion. They need help and not punishment, for punishment cannot change them. How can we explain the fact that someone will always come late to every activity he must attend? Even activities of a month interval. Even the activity he fixes himself, and the person has no health challenges. It is bizarre and unfortunate. Joy Fowler an American author of science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction opined;  “Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you”. Moreover, when you come late you make those punctual to lose their time. Little wonder Lauren Kate would say, “People who are tardy never understand the many ways in which they screw up the schedules of the people who are punctual and normal”

When we are habitually in a haste, it could be interpreted or seen as a lack of proper plan. It could mean that we have no good plan. The implication is that we are not in charge of our time. We Overspeed because we have not used our time properly, we have not planned well, we did not leave at the supposed time. We, therefore, Overspeed in other to reach at the supposed time. But in doing that, we put our lives and others in danger. The normal rule is to move early and reach on time with a moderate speed. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin known by his stage name Moliere a French playwright presented the idea of being in a haste in a more succinct yet meaningful fashion; thus, “unreasonable haste is the direct road to error”  when you are always in a haste as a result of having wasted the supposed time for a particular function, the tendency of failure is always obvious. Procrastination makes one think that there is still time. We should be very conscious of our activities. When we are always in a haste, it is a bad sign, and it needs urgent intervention.

When we are in the habit of always giving excuses, it becomes a childish act, and such is a clear sign of failure and lack of discipline. Accept your mistakes and failure and work hard to correct yourself. Errors are instructive inasmuch as we learn from them. “He that is good in making excuses is seldom good for anything else” thus says, Benjamin Franklin.  And John Wooden made it clear when he states that “You must know that no one is interested in your excuse, even your friend don`t need it and your foes would not believe them. When we fail to deliver the assignment given to us, and each time we give excuses, we are simply presenting our inability and our lazy attitude which is chiefly caused among other vices by procrastination. Anyone who is in the habit of giving excuses among other vice is always a liar. This is because such a person must always find reasons to give. And because such a person is strongly hooked by procrastination, he must always give reasons, which no doubt will always be a lie. Sometimes some excuses are annoying and discouraging. Some of the excuses we give are external security for our internal failures. According to George Washington Carver an American Scientist and inventor, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures comes from people who have the habit of making excuses”.  Hence, the most descent attitude is an attitude of “No if, no but, get your job done”. Too much excuse is a clear sign of incompetence which may be chiefly caused by procrastination.

Therefore, having enumerated the above, the next question should be, how can one come out of this deadly bad habit? I will simply say that the solution to this bad habit is learning “Time Management”. Time management is the simple solution to procrastination. This is because we mismanage our time when we procrastinate. We think that we have another or more time. we must make positive use of the time we have today and we should not wait for tomorrow.
Karen Lamb an Australian lecturer on literature and creative non-fiction opined “A year from now you may wish you had started today”. Imagine having such a wish tomorrow, start today; tomorrow is not sure, and do not be pinned down by procrastination.

Time management helps us to understand and appreciate the amount of time we have and that we have equal amount of time. Denis Whitley pointed that “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people cannot buy more hours. Scientists cannot invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day …”  time is a precious gift from God, we make the best out of it.
Imagine a person who builds a nice house and brings it down suddenly. People would generally think that the person is insane or is wasteful. Hence think about how stupid we may look in the face of the creator of time, on how we waste it and achieve little or nothing with it.
“Time does not give an instant punishment when wasted, but it gives everlasting suffering”. Therefore, to know the value of one month, according to the idea of the famous philosopher Seneca, think of a woman who gave birth 7 months instead of 8th months or the value of one hour, think of a person who missed his train on his way to an important appointment. To know the value of a minute, think of a student who forgets to write his name and examination number in an external examination only to realise that immediately he passed his peppers. Consequently, time stands to be the most valuable gift we have, but the same gift is the most abused. We abuse it because we think we have much of it left. But we do not!! We should be able to take the present as the only time we have. Each second of our lives are extremely useful and meaningful; we must make good use of it. But do not forget that, “When you kill time, it has no resurrection”
As we, therefore, make a sincere effort to overcome the bad habit of procrastination, we pray that the good Lord may continue to help and illumine us so that we may be able to see the blessings in hard work. May he illumine us to see the bad effect of procrastination in our lives and work hard towards having a positive change.


Time does not give instant punishment when wasted, but it gives a lasting suffering!”  Aniobi John

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  1. Yes, procrastination is the thief if time. It makes one to defer till tomorrow what should be done today. And tomorrow always comes, till we are late!
    Thanks a lot, Padre for the great insight and write up

  2. Yes, procrastination is the thief if time. It makes one to defer till tomorrow what should be done today. And tomorrow always comes, till we are late!
    Thanks a lot, Padre for the great insight and write up.

  3. I really enjoyed every bit of this wonderful piece, thank you so much Padre for dimming it fit to share with me. Indeed, a lot was learnt and hoped to share with others.

  4. Fr. John Aniobi, you have enlightened me by your articles on ‘Procrastination’.
    It reminds me of my laziness and procrastinating the events.
    I’ll try to improve my past and wish to be a better person by doing the things on time.
    Thanks Fr. John.

  5. Wow very impressive dear Father thank you so much for this eye opening message for indeed it is an eye opener.
    Thanks once again Padre I oray the good Lord will continue to strengthen, guide protect and grant you all your heart desires and he will keep you safe from the viels of the evil one. I am so glad for I know this message was meant for me🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  6. Wow very impressive dear Father indeed it was awesome. Thank you so much for this dynamic message indeed it is qn eye opener. I pray the good Lord will continue to strengthen, guide, protect and grant you all your heart desires. Thank you once again Padre I’m so glad for this wonderful piece I pray God in his infinite mercy will keep you from the viels of the evil ones, I pray for fresh Anointing upon to lead the flocks, to continue the good works in his vineyard and i pray for more Grace Fathet John Aniobi🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  7. More grace Fr…it is as if this article is for me..I have a program that I have been shifting going for the registration to a farther date because I keep telling myself that I am not ready..it’s been two years now..indeed time waits for no one..thank you!

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