“Procrastination is the thief of time” - Edward Young
Often time we stumble into quotes that hinders us from putting off things to a later time. Like the one we have above. This belief has also been indoctrinated into our lives since we were kids. Our parents would nag us when we put off that math homework to the very last minute. But there’s a sort of high that comes with being put under the stress of chasing that deadline. Why is it??
Rory Vaden, author of Procrastinate on Purpose invites people to wait until the last minute to do things. According to Vaden, “And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. What is a bad thing? Berating yourself as lazy, unmotivated and inefficient for not buckling down and crossing items off your to-do list every minute of the day.”
Jihae Shin, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, in a study, analysed how often staff at two different companies procrastinated and then getting their bosses to rate how creative and innovative they were.
The respondents were asked to submit their best ideas business. The results showed that those who procrastinated were found the be the most creative. Those who submitted ideas after playing games such as Minesweeper or Solitaire for five minutes before gave ideas rated 28% more creative by assessors than those who started their ideas straight away.
“When you postpone doing something, your subconscious is still working on the task” -Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist.
Putting things off to the last minute does give you massive anxiety but that build up stress does act as great motivator for you to get work done too.
While we have all these amazing research and evidence that supports procrastination as means to produce amazing works, don’t get it twisted though...It comes with boundaries like all things does.
So how do we actually harness the powers of procrastination to enable us to deliver our best with limited time?
When you choose to procrastinate, make sure that you are not putting the quality of your work at risk. After all, the whole idea is that you want to procrastinate to deliver better quality, not cincai ones.
Procrastination can really get out of hand if you tend to brood at it by yourself. Always appoint someone that shares your objective to keep yourself in check. This way, when you are taking too long to work on something, your “accountability partner” will help to get you back on track.
Yes, we’ve all been there. You work your a** off to get the work done so badly but here you are with yet another bag of chips watching Netflix, while the weight of work you’ve impended is hanging at the bag of your mind. You can’t focus on your TV series, but you can’t begin with your work either. You’re in a helpless state of plateau. IT’S OKAY! Don’t bring yourself down. It will only make it worst. If anything, it means that you still feel responsible for your work. Grasp on to that feeling and motivate yourself to do better. Go out, grab lunch with your friend, go to an art museum, be inspired to do work.
Postponing and putting things off must come with a real good intention. If you are putting off that meeting because you are afraid of the criticism that will be underway then it is no longer a positive procrastination. Always ask yourself “If I’m leaving this to the very last minute, will it have a positive impact on me?”.
Any pro procrastinators would vouch for this. When you use the deadline to motivate yourself, your ideas will flow like a waterfall. You get a kick out of the pressure to deliver your best at a short period of time. As intimidating as seeing that you are running out of time, be in control and produce the best work that you can applaud yourself for.
The key to being a successful procrastinator is to understand the difference between taking a break to give yourself a chance at a fresh new perspective for your work or a break that will derail you from ever getting the work done. Once you are aware if your intentions, you will find yourself all game up for productivity and maybe one day proclaim, “I’m a procrastinator and I’m proud!”.
Now you know that procrastination is not such bad habit to be plagued with if you know how to work around it. That is.. if you’re a positive procrastinator or a negative procrastinator, watch this episode of Hello I have Issues: Habits to understand how to overcome your the habits.