Most often, procrastination has been crucified even before it is considered. But what if that attitude toward procrastination is very judgmental? We have been brought up to know procrastination as a bad thing which we should never think of indulging in. Come to think of it, let’s give it a chance and we can learn to embrace it for how it can boost our productivity and greatly help us with our daily tasks and goals.
It’s very common to find people racing against a deadline at the last minute to submit a project or assignment. It could also be a task assigned to us by our superiors. However, we procrastinate with such big as well as other small things like eating, brushing our teeth in the morning, studying for an exam and many other small things.
What Is procrastination?
If I asked what procrastination is, I would get answers such as “Postponing having to do things almost anytime we think of doing them” or “Delaying things we planned to do”. These definitions are not wrong and they cover the meaning of definition of procrastination quiet well especially as almost everyone knows it. But could there be more to procrastination than we mostly think? How about we do some little mindset hacking. Procrastination can be considered as the art of managing delay or dawdling well, it could be used very productively if used well. Most often we are quick to judge or understand things from the explanation that others give us instead of going out to get the info for ourselves. The fact is some concepts have been skewed so that society sees them in certain light as either good or bad. Most things however should not be considered as good or bad but be looked at in terms of how they are used and the consequences analyzed.
The procrastination most of us know now is a type of procrastination often associated with people who are called “Passive procrastinators”. Passive procrastination is used to establish the fact that these procrastinators are not fully conscious of what they do. They simply put out doing something because they don’t want to do it, or they are lazy etc. We procrastinate for very funny reasons. This kind of procrastination often has negative repercussions to our productivity and overall health. Procrastination has been found to be related to some health conditions. This is not the type of procrastination that you and I would want to be doing everyday of our lives.
Active procrastination is the kind of procrastination that we should all learn to do. Like passive procrastination, active procrastination involves delaying or postponing doing things but this time with a different reason for doing so. It could be that you have more important things to do so you procrastinate on the less important stuff to be done later on. It is this kind of procrastination that we should cultivate habits on. I mean we shouldn’t decide not to do things simply because we don’t feel like doing them or we want to do more pleasurable things instead of what is important and must be done.
On a brighter side
- Procrastination boosts Creativity
Research has shown that great innovators and creative people are great procrastinators too. They put off making decisions and doing things but get to be more creative while they aren’t doing it. By the time they have to make that decision or when they finally sit to do that thing they have been procrastinating, they have collected much information to be able to make a great decision or they have been able to consider several possibilities to doing whatever they wanted to do. Sometimes people invent new ways of doing things simply because they procrastinated on it until they found a better and easier way of doing that thing. Apple founder Steve Jobs is known to have been a great procrastinator.
- Better decision making
As already mentioned in the previous pro for procrastination. We can often make better decisions when we procrastinate on them. The most important thing I’d like to emphasize is to collect enough information while you procrastinate making that decision. Knowledge is power. Therefore, the valuable the information, the better the decision you will be able to make. Next time you are asked to give a response to something or you have to react to something, consider doing some little information gathering to enable you make the right choice.
- Determine what is important
It’s easy to get in the day doing stuff which don’t matter at all until the last hours of the day when you realize that you haven’t achieved your biggest goals for the day. It is therefore more productive to procrastinate on the little things and go on to do the most important ones at first after which you can come back later on to do the small things.
Perfectionism has been considered as a reason why people procrastinate. There are some people who simply want to make mind-blowing stuff that they keep procrastinating starting to do it. They may even start and then decide that the idea isn’t perfect. A study has shown that most people who jump up to the task contribute only conventional ideas while those who procrastinate are able to come up with really innovative ideas that they wouldn’t have thought of. Thus is mostly so with perfectionists. These people want to do things in ways which aren’t just good but best. They want to come up with the best ideas. So they procrastinate on the idea implementation until they feel they have got one which is perfect.
Knowledge is power. Now that you know that procrastination has good sides as well as bad, you can channel your efforts towards using it for more productivity. Also share this messages to people you think need to know this. They will be grateful.