Many people have a tendency to look down on those who procrastinate, and for good reasons. It is as if the cons of procrastination undeniably outweigh the pros.
Now wait a minute, you said.
Procrastination can be something good?
Indeed so, dear sleepy reader.
Procrastination is not all bad.
The fact that modern society assumes action equals progress while procrastination leads to stagnation is not always valid. While procrastination usually leads to things not getting done, there are also times when it can be beneficial.
We explain how below.
The Benefits of Procrastination
1. You Are Able to Take Your Time
How many times have you thought to yourself that you’d have made a better decision with a bit more deliberation?
Delaying gives you time to develop your thoughts and is especially critical when making important decisions. Even a few hours of putting something off can let your subconscious mind work on the issue(s) in the background as you attend to other tasks.
We know this may be easier said than done, especially when time is of the essence, but we still urge that you allow yourself the chance to procrastinate and rethink things through before committing whenever possible.
You may just come up with other important insights that will alter the trajectory of your decision(s).
2. You Can Gather More Resources
Procrastinating can also give you the time required to seek out others’ opinions before you take that next step.
This is important because it gives you the chance to consider different viewpoints, including those that contradict yours.
Indeed, holistic thinking is something that many of us can use more of as a complement to our own judgment.
3. It Enhances Creativity
Do you know that procrastination can boost your creativity?
Great writers, artists, and creatives of all sorts tend to procrastinate when they’re stuck on their projects. This can include activities like going on a walk, meditating, or taking a shower – anything that isn’t related to the work itself.
Again, this has to do with your subconscious mind working in the background as you tend to other tasks.
Procrastinating can also give you a breather, allowing you to take a step back from whatever you’ve been struggling with.
4. You Feel Less Time-Bound
Deadlines are a great way of forcing yourself to get things done by creating a sense of stress. Too much stress, however, can be debilitating and even harmful if sustained over a long period of time.
We all know how people are expected to multitask in their job these days even though it’s impossible to do so. Anyone who multitasks is simply shifting his/her attention from one thing to another back and forth, which requires the brain to readjust each time it happens. This readjustment takes time, even for simple tasks, so you can imagine how it’d be for more complicated ones.
Selectively procrastinating on some things can therefore make it easier and more efficient for you in getting things accomplished. You can do this by simply delaying some non-essential tasks until a later date when your calendar opens up.
Also, check out this article on some time management tips that you can incorporate into your daily life.
The Drawbacks of Procrastination
1. Procrastination Can Turn into a Permanent Problem
One drawback of procrastination is presumably the invisible pressures that one often feels.
Being stuck in a rut while others are reaching new heights is not a great feeling for anyone. This is especially true for chronic procrastinators i.e. people who simply wait for things to come to them.
Chronic procrastinators are not only being unrealistic about their lives but are also wasting away their valuable and limited time on Earth.lives but are also wasting away their valuable and limited time on Earth.
Here’s a motivational article that we’ve written to help bring back the spark in your life and get you moving again.
2. You Are Living Inside Your Head and Not the Real World
We get it.
Life can be very harsh sometimes.
Fears, uncertainties, and overthinking can make procrastinating seem like a better choice than action.
But this is not the path to take if you want to live a meaningful life.
What you should do insted is dream big but start small wherever and whenever you can.
This can be something like eating a bit less if you are aiming to lose weight or making that extra effort to say hi to a stranger if you are trying to be more sociable.
Consistent practice makes permanent, so the more you practice, the easier things will become.
3. It Can Cause Stress and Anxiety
You don’t procrastinate just because you can but because you have decided that it’s the best course of (in)action.
Putting things off until the last minute can create unnecessary anxiety and even confusion. It also makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish your task(s) should anything unexpected happens.
This is one drawback of procrastination that can derail even the best of intentions because events do not always happen linearly.
Last-minute work also tends to feel rushed, which can negatively impact the overall quality and make you appear less competent than you really are.
How to Procrastinate Effectively
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to procrastination.
The trick is to know when it makes sense to procrastinate and when it doesn’t. You also need to consider whether your particular situation has room for procrastination because not every case does.
More importantly, you need to be the one to take charge of when and how you procrastinate and not the other way around.
Try adding procrastination to your toolbox of useful tricks the next time that you feel stuck, whether in your personal or professional life.
It might just work wonders for you.