If you’re looking to get ahead in your social life, career, or personal projects, the tendency to procrastinate can feel like a hindrance. However, when looking at the benefits of procrastination, it could actually be used for your benefit. When you use procrastination to your advantage, you can improve your work ethic, build more efficient processes, and divide your workload to be less stressful.
For some people, procrastination can help them to develop a more efficient system that gets their work done quickly and effectively. When tasks are put off until the last minute, it encourages the procrastinator to find a way to get their work done in a timely manner while still producing acceptable results. You may initially delay the project because it only takes a limited amount of time or there isn’t a sense of urgency until you forget how much time you actually have left. This urgency then puts you into “the zone” which helps you focus on the needs at hand and finish them before causing trouble.
If you find yourself constantly procrastinating, take a moment to look closer at how you still manage to get your work done on time. When you take these processes into account, you may be able to find ways to improve your work ethic in general, reducing the need to procrastinate in the first place. By breaking down how you can effectively complete work in a short amount of time, you can build deadlines and project goals around these effective practices.
Working Under Pressure
For some individuals, procrastination can put on the pressure they need in order to find the motivation to complete a project. You may not feel compelled to complete something until it’s considered “last minute” or until someone reminds you consistently or presents a consequence if it isn’t completed. This could be used to your advantage if you use the pressure appropriately. Move up the due date in your planner, ask someone to check on your progress, or set up a reward-consequence system that will put the same pressure on the task.
When it comes to balancing that productive pressure and the stress of procrastination, mental health articles from BetterHelp, an online therapy resource, can give you further insight into improving your relationship with procrastination. Consulting experts can help you break down the source of your focus and motivation difficulties, how you can use pressure to your advantage, and what self-care steps you should take to avoid burnout and stress.
Have you ever avoided one task by tackling another? For example, instead of getting started on the dishes, you decided to organize your room or clean off your desk. Or instead of getting started on a project for work, you cleaned out your emails or started a smaller, less important task. This is a form of “productive” procrastination that feels beneficial because tasks are still getting completed, even if they aren’t the important priority.
This can be used as an effective time management tool if put to use effectively. By having smaller, minor tasks to complete, you can divide the major task to take advantage of your productive procrastination. It can provide options to recenter your mind and redirect your attention without taking time away from the priority itself. If you can identify what sparks your productive procrastination, you can also take advantage of these moments with the organized task list instead of allowing your mind to wander to irrelevant tasks.
Making Procrastination Work For You
Using procrastination to your advantage can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and motivation difficulties. While procrastination can be beneficial for some individuals, it needs to be handled properly instead of abused. It’s important to remember that you can’t change the past – if you have a habit of procrastinating, you may be spending half of that time worrying about the time you’re wasting by not completing the task. Instead of being self-critical and increasing your stress, use the other benefits procrastination can provide like the sense of urgency and productive procrastination practices to improve your outlook on the situation.
Most processes take time to develop, going through an initial trial and error period in order to make them more effective. As such, it’s important to give yourself time to use your procrastination to your benefit. This means it can be helpful to monitor your stress levels, plan for breaks, and remain patient and understanding with yourself as you work to improve your work ethic and use procrastination for quality results.
This article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Blessing Iyamadiken loves the art of storytelling and enjoys creating all types of content from news to entertainment. She is also a feminist and very passionate about Gender Equality. In her spare time, she loves to read or binge on Netflix.