Procrastination is a habit that most associate with lazy and unmotivated people. Often, this rings true. However, procrastination can help us decide our priorities and genuinely enjoy what we do.
I Can’t Stop Procrastinating – What’s Wrong With Me?
We have all experienced procrastination, whether working on a school essay, a business plan, a blog post, or even simple household chores. Unfortunately, putting unsavory things off until the last possible minute is one of those habits that makes us human. If your procrastination negatively affects your life, then it would be helpful for you to look at the habit and how to change it.
However, it’s not always the worst thing in the world. There are times when procrastination is a positive thing. If you can relate to this, then realize you’re not alone.
We’ve all stressed out about reading social media all day instead of working. We’ve all forgotten deadlines and made mistakes with our time management. Let’s put procrastination into perspective, not as an evil thing to avoid at all costs but rather as a part of who we are. There are some reasons why procrastination isn’t always the wrong thing and can benefit you.
The Benefits Of Procrastination
You won’t hear about this often, but procrastination is certainly not without its benefits.
In today’s world of glorifying non-stop productivity and working all day, every day, it can easy to be hard on yourself for relaxing a bit too much. So let’s look at why taking an extended break may not be a bad thing.
1. Procrastination Forces You To Be Urgent
There is a saying that diamonds are made under pressure. So what do diamonds and procrastination have to do with one another?
When you’re chasing a deadline after putting work off for a while, you have no choice but to bring your A-game and get it done quickly. So like a diamond, your procrastination may make that work project an easy task as your focus is laser targeted.
2. Procrastination Tells You When to Rest
If staying alert and focused is a challenge, then it may be a sign that you’re overworked and need a rest. Studies show that humans only really have about 3-4 hours of high energy, productive work that they are capable of in a day, so it may be a good idea to listen to your body and get a rest.
3. Procrastination Helps You Prioritize
If you’re staring at your notepad or laptop and are struggling to get going, then take some time to evaluate your tasks and determine whether or not they’re worthy of your undivided attention. If they are worthy of your attention, move the task down the list one or two spots to allow your unconscious mind the ability to brew while you work on another task.
If you are putting off work because you’ve got 12 different tasks to do, then look at the tasks in more detail and decide if they all need to be done today. Usually, you’ll find that such a large number of tasks is entirely unnecessary, and you can quickly get by on three to four larger ones.
4. Procrastination Teaches Us What Truly Matters
We’re far less likely to procrastinate when immersed in a task we’re deeply passionate about. However, if you look at your procrastination habits, most people find it arises during tedious, repetitive tasks that don’t stimulate.
So if all you do at work is procrastinate, it may be time to consider if you’re in the right profession.
5. Our Society Has Deeply Unrealistic Expectations of Work
Today we see respect being garnished in our world of social media and 24/7 news by the birth of hustle glorification, the idea that you need to exert yourself to the max every day to get ahead in life.
Not only is this philosophy of work false, but it is also profoundly damaging to people’s physical and mental health. Believing that we need to work every minute is one of the reasons why it’s so easy to criticize ourselves when we do put things off. There is value of participation in leisure activities and hobbies in creating a productive and relaxing life.
It is why we don’t feel accomplished without working our socks off every day. While hard work is vital to success and has its place, simply working more hours doesn’t always mean we’re being productive. Working more hours can easily have the opposite effects as the quality of our work goes down after several hours.
How to Positively Impact Your Procrastination
Though procrastination has many benefits, working with your procrastination to promote success will help you.
1. Find What Your Biggest Priority Is
Nobody likes waking up on Monday morning knowing that they have a day of small, unimportant, and highly mundane tasks ahead of them. With a daily schedule like that, it’s easy to see why you would be tempted to spend the day surfing the web and checking your phone.
To avoid a meaningless day of work, find out your biggest priority of the day and attack this with full vigor. You’ll have more focus, drive, and energy to complete your biggest tasks of the day rather than trying to accomplish several smaller, unrelated ones.
2. Wake Up Earlier
Staying in bed may sound tempting, but there’s a lot to be said about waking up earlier and getting a headstart to your day. By starting the day off earlier, you’ll have positive momentum with you for the rest of the morning. The positive momentum will help give you confidence, endorphins, and more focus for the remainder of your day, which will help to minimize procrastination.
3. Change Up Your Playlist
There is no genuine scientific link that music makes you more productive. However, participating in leisure activitis such as listening to music will boost your mood, and the American Medical Associations JAMA network article shows that music can make repetitive tasks more bearable.
We work better when listening to instrumental music, such as classical or jazz, than we do to rock, hip-hop, or podcasts. Songs that have words can distract us, causing us to procrastinate more.
So, next time you’re at work, and you need to get your head down, stick on some Mozart or Beethoven and see how well it impacts your focus and performance.
When you find yourself self-criticizing your procrastination habit, remember that’s it’s not all bad. We’re all human, after all, and need breaks from work and need stimulating tasks to keep our minds engaged.
Procrastination is the ying to productivity’s yang – one can’t exist without the other.
Of course, you can implement changes if you’re finding you’re putting off work more than you would like; however, it’s about time society embraced procrastination for the positives it brings to our lives.
Embrace procrastination – it can be a good thing.