We've all been there. You look at the clock: It's 6:00 P.M. Your workday is nearly over, but your to-do task list is nowhere near done. You look at it and stress starts building up as you realize there are items that have been on it for weeks. All you have done is de-prioritize them over and over again. You sigh.
Maybe it’s because you feel as if your to-do list is so daunting that you feel that you’re not even doing any work at all. Or maybe it’s because you’ve had this feeling before and, yet, procrastination has always worked.
Sometimes lack of motivation to work on your duties can be the real reason behind procrastination. In fact, more than 20% of people face procrastination on a regular basis. The biggest problem is that people are afraid of failure at work, so they stop working on a task once they realize it may become a breakdown. But that's not just us.
Even if you are determined to achieve your daily goals at all costs, you may face procrastination from time to time. But, procrastination can also be beneficial at times. Actually, procrastination is a matter of priority. If you procrastinate on doing something, it doesn’t always mean you want to get rid of a task and your job duties.
Look, there are two types of procrastination – active and passive. If you postpone doing something, and you choose another task instead, it’s called active procrastination. But if you stop working on your task and instead, do nothing, then it’s passive type, and in simpler words, this equals wasting your time.
So, today we’re going to talk about the perks of procrastination and how this nasty habit can actually lead to productivity. No matter who you are, whether a chronic procrastinator or you have faced it the first time, you must understand how procrastination works and make the most out of it.
So, here are 8 reasons not to be afraid of active procrastination:
1. Feeling Burned Out? Procrastination Can Give You An Energy Boost
Today’s world is competitive. Everywhere you see, the work environment has become exhaustive. This leads to enormous stress among workers and sometimes this consistent cycle increases the risk of depression. In a word, working day in and day out continued for a long period can give you nothing but burnout. Your mind demands a break.
If you’re still unsure whether you have burnout or its just you, pay attention to this list of its symptoms:
- a lack of motivation to work or do other things you liked doing
- you feel tired every single day
- no creativity
- stop paying attention to details
- reduced work performance
Suppose you have N number of tasks to do, while shifting from one task to another, you’ll feel a lack of energy and motivation to accomplish these on a good level. This is where procrastination can help.
Taking a pause when needed is a way to distract yourself from the work and, hence, this improves your overall working performance. You tend to be less stressed and avoid being burned out with ease.
2. You Can Improve Your Creativity
Most people believe think that multitasking is a normal thing for humans. However, it’s hard for our brains to handle two or more tasks at the same time, after some time your creativity starts to suffer.
Procrastination can improve your creativity. Although putting things off is not a great thing to do, some people manage to make the most out of it. The most creative decisions come when your brain isn’t functioning as efficiently as it would typically. When you’re sick of working and postpone things, your brain starts using exhausted resources, and unique ideas come to your mind.
How does this happen?
When you take a pause, you distract yourself from work, and this restarts your brain. Stepping back for a while helps you see things from a different perspective, thus letting you find creative solutions instead of the obvious ones.
3. You Start To Value Your Time and Efforts
Believe it or not, procrastinating helps you value your time and efforts. It’s a well-known fact that people who can allocate time become successful, and procrastination helps to realize the exact amount of time and effort you need to spend.
When you postpone doing things, you learn how to manage your time to accomplish the duties before the deadline and, therefore, start working in an effective manner. Overall it boosts your time managing skills and gives you a sense of satisfaction.
4. Delay Until The Last Minute Forces Us To Focus!
You can improve the quality of the task by not acting in rush. This is the truth. Multitasking decreases the quality of your work as you give unbalanced attention to each task. Moreover, once you realize you can’t complete the task the way you expected, it leaves you feeling sad and unmotivated.
Working on the same task without breaks, offers you have nothing to draw inspiration from. Thus, procrastinate for a while is a good choice if you want to finish your task on a better level.
Refresh your thoughts and come back to the task!
Once you’re in the mood, you automatically discard all distractions, and your brain works effectively to accomplish the task within the remaining time. The time you procrastinated and relaxed your mind, helped you focus well and complete the work with perfection.
5. It Gives You Time To Get Feedback
Sometimes we just can’t stop working on a particular task. However, it can be the sacrifice of quality as you don’t have time to get feedback from colleagues.
Feedback helps you learn a lot and grow professionally. If you receive productive feedback, you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Plus, waiting for feedback, you give yourself enough time to think about your work and find out flaws or things you did well. Thus, getting constructive feedback is a must, and while procrastinating, your colleagues can suggest some changes and improvements. This enhances the quality of your work.
6. It Helps to Get More Things Done Quickly!
If you know how to use your procrastination the right way, you can distract from the current task you’re not in the mood for, and focus on getting other important stuff done.
The main idea is to use free time during procrastination. Once you finish all the other things that were stealing your focus, your mind is free. You can now move back to the unfinished task you left on hold and do it mindfully. This way you are not guilty of postponing tasks and at the same time complete the existing duties.
7. Procrastination Helps You to Make Better Decisions
Sometimes you procrastinate on a decision because you're not entirely sure what choices to make. Your intuitive mind is saying opposite things, and you can't figure out what’s the best thing to do. That's when procrastination becomes your savior.
By leaving important decisions on hold you can avoid jumping into something which is not right for you. It buys you time to analyze the possible options and their pros and cons. Once you are convinced, you're ready to make the decision as you've done your research.
8. Unnecessary Tasks Disappear with Procrastination
Procrastination shines a light on what actually matters to you. You're less likely to procrastinate on things you love to do. If there's something on your to-do list you're struggling to get done, ask yourself why you're doing it in the first place. If it’s something you are doing unwillingly, without any purpose then you get trapped in this passive procrastination cycle.
Purpose and desire to do anything is very important and it will help you overcome any procrastination hurdle. This can make you realize that maybe you were procrastinating because you were working on the wrong thing.
Conclusion: Your Work Shouldn’t Bother Your Mental Health
Procrastination is good for you!
Everyone needs a break. It’s important to have some time to breathe a sigh of relief and get rid of pressure. Dedicate some time to your thoughts and life.
You can use procrastination to your advantage by making deliberate choices. Although you don’t have to procrastinate on every task you have, nothing could go worse if this feeling comes from time to time. Don’t blame yourself and stay calm; We are not machines. Once you’re at ease, you have more desire to complete the task.
Here are some ways to make procrastination productive for you:
- Break down the tasks on your to-do list into smaller, more manageable pieces.
- Don't let the pressure of an approaching deadline dictate what you get done.
- If you're finding it difficult to stay calm, meditate or take a short walk.
- In case you feel like procrastinating on a big project, start by doing a smaller, easier step.
- Sometimes when you are trying to do too many things at once, just try to pick only one task and stay focused on it.
- When you feel that your current situation is pushing you to do too much, change that situation.
Finding it difficult to do anything productive in your schedule? Here's a tip: Pick one of your to-do list items and give it your full attention. While you're at work, turn off your phone, cover up your computer, and get to work. You can't manage to do everything, but you can at least do something.