Oh Procrastination!

I wonder what the origin of procrastination is…

Certainly you’d think it wouldn’t originate in our reptilian ancestry, what with the essential requirements of food, water and shelter being things that, if you delayed tracking them down, could lead to death. Could it however, still be evolutionary?

Is there some part of us that doesn’t want to risk the danger of being found by predators and would rather wait for the solution to find us? Is there something innate within humanity that demands we put off important subjects in favour of those of slightly lessened importance?

Or could it be more of a cultural thing?

Are lazy comic characters based on our procrastination or is our procrastination based on these amusing stereotypes?

It would seem if you think about early humans at least that procrastination would have hindered our progress if anything, but as with all of these types of questions there are few ways to prove this and thus there is little chance of finding an answer one way or another.

However, in a world maximised for human comfort such as the society the western world happily lives in (despite the fact we should really be working on a worldwide sense of comfort before we get too drowsy) it may actually do us some good on occasion.

Not that we shouldn’t be doing the things that are most important to us, but just as a fluke of our times, is it possible that procrastination could save us a lot of time and energy due both to the nature of our society and the reliable and altruistic nature of some of our family and peers?

A bit of a stretch I know but a cultural evolution, a change in the way our society moulds our psychology over time is something I wish I knew more about, and maybe if I did I could comment on it without simply being speculative.


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