Everyone procrastinates. But not everyone procrastinates in the same way. Can procrastination be a good thing?
“Chronic procrastination is putting off what you have to do with unnecessary distractions. “20% of U.S. men and women are chronic procrastinators. They delay at home, work, school and in relationships.” – American Psychological Association
This type of procrastination can destroy your productivity both at work and at home. But, a second type of delay known as active procrastination might actually be a good thing.
Active procrastination is a choice to delay important work in favor of other important work that adds to the overall well-being of a project. This type of procrastination works for your goals rather than against them.
So here, we’ve highlighted some of the benefits of active procrastination:
Active Procrastination Means Still Doing Something Useful With Your Time
We all have priorities. Some days, however, certain priorities are more important than others.
Active procrastinators choose to complete all the little, annoying to-do list tasks first. The hope is that completing less essential work will free up time for more important work later on.
“Identifying low-value tasks early on will help you “decide whether to drop, delegate or reassign them” – Harvard Business Review
No matter the reason why you might choose to put things off, active procrastinators make sure they are still making progress, even if in a small way.
Active Procrastination Limits You To What’s Really Important
Be honest. Chances are if you’ve procrastinated on a project, it’s because you don’t consider certain aspects of it all that important.
Active procrastination can turn to avoidance. But avoidance has a way of showing you what’s essential.
“After procrastinating on a task for some time, you might look at it and not remember why it’s even on your to-do list. This gives you an opportunity to reevaluate whether it’s still important you do it. If you’ve procrastinated on it for a while, it could be that it’s not even necessary or relevant to you anymore.” – Psychology Today
Many aim to stop procrastinating altogether. But perhaps you should ask yourself why you’re doing it in the first place.
Active Procrastination Fuels Creativity & Exploration
Many who claim to be procrastinators work well under pressure. Rather than feel anxious under the weight of an approaching deadline, active procrastinators are energized by it.
“As a deadline approaches, we fear the consequences of not getting it done on time. That fear releases adrenaline, a natural pain killer, and feeling less pain makes doing difficult or less desirable tasks easier. Energy is the strongest benefit of procrastination.” – Fast Company
Active procrastinators have the same time luxury as those who complete work ahead of time. But their benefit is seen on the front end of a project timeline. They have more time to explore possibilities and creative avenues and aren’t afraid to allow for good ideas to happen at the last minute.
“Studies have shown that the human brain is more focused on doing things when it has a limited amount of time to do something. That’s the whole concept behind embracing active procrastination.” – Medium.com
Passive procrastination is putting off important things to do unimportant things. Active procrastination is putting off important things to do other important things.
So while the activities you complete during active procrastination might not have an immediate effect on a project, this type of delay will still put you on the right track!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!