We’ve all been there – staring bleary eyed at a computer screen, digging deep for motivation or inspiration that seems to have taken a temporary hiatus just when we need it most.
Or, glued to the television set, watching the minutes tick by as the guilt of procrastination ruminates in our stomach.
There’s certainly no shortage of literature on procrastination – causes for it, tips for combating it, etc. – but is it really as bad as we make it out to be?
Here are five benefits to procrastinating and putting off a dreaded (or not so dreaded) task.
1. Active procrastinators can often create better work under pressure.
Not everyone produces their best work stretched out over long periods of time. In fact, some flourish when they are given a tight time constraint and a strict deadline.
For those who know that this is how they operate, sometimes becoming an active procrastinator – one who deliberately chooses to complete tasks at the last minute – is a good thing.
But the active part is key – knowing this is how you operate and consciously deciding to do so cuts down on the guilt we associate with procrastination.
It’s the guilt and subsequent consequences – lower self-esteem, etc. – that is often more of an issue than the procrastination itself.
2. Procrastinating allows time for ideas to ruminate and flourish on their own.
In today’s modern workplace where efficiency and cost-cutting are key, we often try to stay firmly in control of time. But sometimes ideas can’t be prodded into fruition because we need them in the here and now.
Walking away from a task in order to allow an idea or solution to come to you organically can, in the end, be significantly more productive than trying to pull something out of thin air.
Plus, this can keep frustration at bay – something that pushes many of us to give up before anything has been accomplished.
3. Relaxation can be more beneficial in the long-run than working harder and longer.
In our society we’ve been trained to believe that working longer hours means we’re getting more done, but in reality, that’s not exactly the case.
So while working more may seem like a good solution, it may actually be hindering your ability to get things done.
If relaxation is what you need, than it’s a-ok to put certain tasks on the back burner. You might be cutting down on the time you have to complete a task, but you’ll probably find that you are more equipped to handle that task after a quick nap, or whatever else you need to calm your body and mind.
4. Procrastination can cut down on busy work.
When it comes to completing a project or task, we tend to make it expand or contract depending on the amount of time we have allotted. In other words, we can make a one hour project take three hours if time allows.
Therefore, procrastination can force us to only complete what needs to be completed – instantly cutting out all the busy work we like to use to fill the extra time.
5. Procrastination offers a chance to plan ahead.
We may have been told it’s a good idea to jump in to a task headfirst, but getting started on something before taking some time to think it through and plan ahead can lead to unexpected obstacles and issues later on down the road.
Productive procrastination – i.e. thinking and sitting with an idea before acting – can make everything run smoother and can give you ample time to address potential problems before they arise. Not to mention the fact that you can entertain several different courses of action before taking a significant amount of time on one that doesn’t work.
If you’re still not convinced that procrastinating can actually be productive, check out these tips for procrastinating productively (yes, it is possible).
Do you think procrastination can be beneficial? How do you procrastinate productively?
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