Procrastinators often get a bad reputation for putting off tasks they should be focusing on but have you ever heard of ‘productive waste of time’? Yes, that’s apparently what a lot of successful procrastinators do! Stanford university professor John Perry in his book The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing calls this technique ‘structured procrastination” which in essence means strategic energy renewal i.e. redirecting your energies to another task when you feel motivated to postpone one. This helps you get more done through effective time management.
If you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to get rid of your chronic procrastination habit, learn the art of productive procrastination to fuel your business and career growth instead! Here’s how:
#1 Leverage the adrenaline rush: When you procrastinate for long, the fear of missing deadlines looms large and it’s the fear that gets the level of adrenaline surging through your body. That’s your cue to jump into action and get the job done – before the energy rush subsides giving way to negative anxiety and stress. A drop in energy signals a drop in your motivation to complete tasks.
#2 Create a task triage to prioritize and delegate: Feeling overwhelmed with a pile of tasks pending attention, thanks to your chronic procrastination habit? Perform the task triage by dividing tasks into three categories – those that need immediate attention, those that can be postponed for a while, and those that don’t require you to be doing them at all. The last category of tasks makes the best candidate to delegate to your virtual assistant. There’s always going to be more to do than anyone can possibly accomplish. Make time to give laser sharp focus to the tasks that really matter.
#3 Make a to-do list for short term goals: Dividing your workload into a smaller day-to-day to-do list and another for long-term goals makes way for small wins that are great to motivate yourself into doing more. Creating bite-sized goals that may lead up to the larger goal prevents you from completely wasting time. Procrastination is really what you make of it – you either do something less important or nothing at all; it’s the big picture that scares us into waiting a little longer.
#4 Use your procrastination time to analyze: While quick decision making is a sure plus in today’s hyper competitive business scenario, taking some time to mull over your decisions helps you analyze the pros and cons better. This makes for informed decision making and higher accountability.
#5 Inch closer to the coveted work-life balance: We all procrastinate and at times when the going is really tough, it helps one de-stress by putting off the tasks that rob you of mental peace. Work pressure being the biggest threat to health, a little procrastination could go a long way in helping you achieve better work-life balance by choosing family, friends, and yourself over work.
Why Cure Procrastination When You Can Use It Right Instead?
It’s not always easy to change your habits (including procrastination) – especially when you are working hard to grow a start-up business or excel in your profession. Tweaking the habits to work to your advantage is the easier and better remedy.