For most of our time, each and every one of us desires to do our daily tasks in the most efficient and optimum way. With that being said, having the knowledge and ability to work with the utmost productivity possible would be the main goal. Therefore, most would say and agree that procrastination is not a good trait and we all should combat it out of our lives.
Most self-help gurus will tell us all how to fight, or eliminate, or kill procrastination. Although that is quite a noble goal, it is not something that we can achieve permanently. However, procrastinating may be a blessing in disguise if we do it right and channelled properly. And so, a better thing to do is to mould ourselves to become a proactive procrastinator. This is done by knowing when we procrastinate — whether is it in the afternoon, is it when having to work on a certain task, is it when too far from the deadline — and plan the task accordingly.
One thing about procrastination is that it can help us to become a better decision maker. According to Frank Partnoy, the author of the book ‘Wait: The art and science of delay', whenever we have a big decision to make, we must delay the final decision of yes or no to the very last minute. Reason being, when making a choice, many times, our rational mind and intuition are saying two different things and we don’t know which one to follow. By procrastinating on the task of taking a decision, we can evaluate the scenario thoroughly.
When procrastinating on a task, let the deadlines act as our motivation. A study reveals that when we have a hard and complex task at hand, we automatically seem to assume that we have ample time to work on it. And when we realise that the deadline is getting too close, that’s when our panic button flips and we set to action. That’s why many of us procrastinate — we just like to work under pressure, although it seems stressful and frustrating, let’s admit it, we are more productive, efficient and better performers when we think we have to submit that paper in 2 hours.
Procrastination can actually trigger and boost our inner creativity. More often than not, we put off tasks for later because it’s just too hard, boring or daunting, and the idea of doing the task is just energy-sucking! But, far too often, what we don’t realise is that even when we are not working on the task our subconscious mind is actively collecting ideas and thoughts that can help you with the task. So, when we sit down to actually do the task, our head is filled with a multitude of ideas and thoughts. This kind of sub-conscious brainstorming can help us to become more creative at our task.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
— Bill Gates
In light of this, do not assume that someone’s lazy just because they procrastinate. In an essay written by John Perry, a professor at Stanford University, he says most of the time procrastinators are not doing nothing, they just put off the hardest and most complex task till the end. They tend to work on less taxing tasks first. By checking off every other task on your list we will get a sense of satisfaction and will build our momentum by the time we reach that final task. When we do get there, we are in your peak productive state and with a sense of satisfaction from finishing all other tasks.