You’ve heard this saying, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” Because of distractions, long to-do lists and seemingly endless work life priorities, we have all been subject to procrastination from time to time. For some people, it can be a way of life.
Procrastinating until you’re under the gun used to be my way of getting things done. If I had a deadline of Tuesday, I was up all night Monday plowing through the assignment. This type of procrastination is destructive.
I can tell you from my own personal experience that it comes at a great price. The anxiety and stress associated with this type of pressure can be overwhelming and affect other areas of your life.
However, there is one type of procrastination that is important for creativity and innovation. It is called productive procrastination. When you set a project or idea aside for some moments, a few days or even weeks, your enable your mind to wander. When I learned this was a good thing, I breathed a sigh of relief. We think we have to keep going, but that’s not necessarily so because you’re doing something new and different. The creative process takes time.
Have you ever been working on a program or project and got stuck? Perhaps you were frustrated and stressed. Then you took a break or walked away. Suddenly you had an ah-ha moment.
The extra time spent mentally wandering gives you the ability to come up with more creative, divergent ideas. Over the time you will gain new insights and thoughts and feel good about your progress.
In most cases, procrastination is a state of mind. When you start feeling anxious or experiencing a mental block or you’re deciding whether or not to put a task off for later, ask yourself, “Is this destructive procrastination or productive procrastination?”
Then recognize and prioritize your tasks and get on track.
Remember this: some day is not a day of the week. Start today. Right now! Get more done with less anxiety. Make small changes and be consistent. Change your habits and you will change your situation. And, you’ll feel much less stress and be more fulfilled in the workplace and at home.
Leave me a comment about how you deal with procrastination!