Hello to all the lazy-boned humans (or otherwise 🙂 ). I have been always told that Procrastination is a bad thing, you should stop Procrastinating, there are ways to deal with Procrastination, life needs to be disciplined and things need to be done in a timely fashion etc. etc. etc … Well, I am here today to tell you quite the opposite.
Wikipedia defines Procrastination as “the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished. Sometimes, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline.”
Now Procrastinating on a certain task my friends, could be driven by multiple reasons few of which I am listing below:
- Don’t feel like doing it.
- Too boring to do.
- Lack of motivation.
- More important tasks take priority.
- Don’t know how to reach the end goal.
- Your Perfectionism gets in the way.
- Depression or bad mood.
- Mundane tasks eat a lot of time.
- Unclear about how to get started.
- Distractions from social media/ social life. And the list goes on …
But now for the happy stuff, there is a bright side to Procrastination (and this is research stuff 😉 ).
Procrastination makes you more creative.
It’s very natural to procrastinate on tasks that seem daunting. What you might not realize is that even when you’re not actively working on a task, your mind is always subconsciously collecting ideas and processing things to prepare you for it. That means that when you actually sit down to get to it, you have a lot more ideas in your head on how to go about it. When you’re assigned a task that seems too hard to do, procrastination often leads you to invent a better way.
Unnecessary tasks disappear with procrastination.
After procrastinating on a task for some time, you might look at it and not remember why it’s even on your to-do list. This happens to me all the time and it gives an opportunity to reevaluate whether it’s still important for me. If you very consistently procrastinate on doing something in particular, despite significant and sustained efforts to stop, the harsh truth is that it’s probably just not that important to you. Like for me it’s, doing my taxes, I just hate it but still gotta do it. So I literally postpone it until the last hour of the deadline.
Use Procrastination to write detailed to-do lists
I have recently started bullet journaling, where I also maintain my to-do lists. To-do lists not only help you get your things in order and keep your mind free of all the irrelevant details, but they serve another, very satisfying purpose. Checking off items from your to-do list after each task is completed not only helps you move on to the next task but also gives you an innate sense of satisfaction. Which in turn gives you the boost to get more done.
Active procrastination gets more things done.
Sure, you might not be getting the one thing done that you’re procrastinating on. But if you’re an active procrastinator, the rest of your to-do list is probably getting cleared quickly (or rather let me say the priority list). And once the rest of the things on your to-do list are done, then all you’ve got left is that one thing you were originally procrastinating on (however boring it might be)—and you’ve got no choice but to get on with it.
You get good at delegating
Just because something was put on your plate doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily required to do it alone, and sometimes that isn’t the most productive way to do it. When you procrastinate you might get better at reaching out to other people who actually have some valuable insights or would be happy to be involved in the process.
You can handle the pressure
If you procrastinate, you’re used to working in last-minute, hectic situations since you won’t always use all the time you were given to meet a work deadline. This is a good thing since if you crack under pressure, you’re just going to panic and that won’t help you at all. So one bonus of procrastination? Absolutely owning any pressure-filled situation.
You Feel Better an Happier
Everyone needs a break. It’s important to have some time to breathe a sigh of relief, get rid of pressure, and dedicate some time to your thoughts and life. Although you don’t have to procrastinate on every task you have, there is nothing bad if it comes from time to time. Don’t be to blame for it, simply give yourself time. Once you’re well-rested, you have more desire to complete the task.
So when does it cross from good to bad?
There are two kinds of procrastination: active procrastination and passive procrastination. Active procrastination means you realize that you are unduly delaying going to the bank or cleaning your closet, but you are doing something that is more valuable instead. Passive procrastination is just sitting around on your sofa not doing anything. That, my dear friends is a problem! Demark active and passive procrastination to make the most out of it. If you know how to use procrastination the right way, you can accomplish more tasks on a better level and become a happier person.
I read somewhere that the idea that procrastination is bad really started in the Puritanical era with Jonathan Edwards’s sermon against procrastination and then the American embrace of “a stitch in time saves nine,” and this sort of work ethic that required immediate and diligent action. Procrastination is just a universal state of being for humans. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do, so we will always be delaying on some tasks. The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well. If you still have some doubts watch this interesting Ted Talk.