What If It Was Okay To Procrastinate?

May 1, 2024 | Random stuff | 0 comments

Procrastination

We all procrastinate. I think it’s part of human nature. Knowing we need to do something and yet not doing it.

We are also told that procrastination is bad.

I used to think it was bad and now I’m sitting on the fence. Maybe by the time I finish writing this piece I may be off the fence!

Procrastination is viewed as wasting time. Wasting anything is a bad thing. Time however well that seems doubly bad.

Time is precious. There are commodities that you can get back even if you’ve lost them, money, love and even trust. Time on the hand, once it’s gone it’s gone.

So what determines whether we’re wasting time or being productive?

We’ve been conditioned to see using our time effectively based on if we’re being ‘productive’. That means doing the right thing, not just doing or as I like to call it productive procrastination.

Identity, fear

So why do we procrastinate?

The fear of failure. No one wants to get it wrong so avoid it by not starting in the first place.

The need for it to be perfect. If it’s not going to be perfect then it cannot be done yet.

There are too many unknowns. The uncertainty is too much to handle so waiting is the better option.

Overwhelmed by the task. The task itself is daunting and so delay until it feels more manageable.

It’s far too difficult. If the task is too daunting avoid it until it becomes less difficult.

I’m sure you can list many more. My question to you is, what do all these excuses have in common? 

The answer, the negative language that is used which triggers negative emotions which then leads to putting off doing the task.

By simply being mindful of the language that we are using we can actually motivate ourselves to take action.

So how can we benefit from procrastination?

Improves self-awareness

Next time you find yourself procrastinating, or productively procrastinating, I want you to pay attention to your thinking.

What thoughts are you having and what does that tell you about yourself?

Identifies limiting beliefs

Your thoughts are not who you are. So get curious, how are they holding you back and why are they holding you back? 

What is the limiting belief that you are holding onto that needs to be removed?

Identifies skills gaps

You may identify a legitimate skill that you do not have and that you must have to complete your task.

Re-evaluate priorities

By procrastinating, you are giving yourself some time so use it to reflect. You may realise that this task is actually not a priority and even better than that it doesn’t need to be done at all.

Accept

Distraction

Procrastination is also a distraction. Time away from the task which you are avoiding doing means that when you return to it you can look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. You may then see what you didn’t see before which makes the task feel less daunting.

So you see, procrastination is not as bad as we think it is. It can be helpful if we decide to use it in a positive way. It just means taking some time out to understand why and then deciding what’s your next best move.

Are you constantly procrastinating?

 

You might also like to read, How will you spend your 86,400 seconds today?

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