Have you ever felt putting off the work that you need to do because you don’t feel like doing it? It’s not impossible and certainly not something uncommon. Students are the ones mostly associated with procrastinating but working people or stay home parents like you might be experiencing it too. The thing is that procrastination can either be bad or good depending on how you make it so. Just because people are procrastinating should it mean that they are unproductive. Sometimes, the most productive people can be the ones who procrastinate all the more. So how do you make yourself productive even when you procrastinate?
The Good and Bad Procrastination
Not all procrastination is bad. You can be procrastinating and at the same time be productive. Putting off today’s work because you believe the saying that “there is always tomorrow” may be your usual motto. People have long taken procrastination as something negative but in fact, it could be a perfect way for you to do other things as important and make the best of your day enjoying it. Lazy procrastination is bad but being productive while you procrastinate is the good one and that’s what you’ll learn from here.
So before we start, let me tell you a few things more. Procrastination can be stressful because you know yourself that you may not be able to do what you are supposed to be doing for the day. Thinking alone over the long list of things that you have to be is pressing enough to stress you. But with some help, you may find that structured and unstructured procrastination can be the answer to your problem of improving yourself even when you’re likely to put off the real work.
Structured and Unstructured Procrastination
There are two kinds of procrastination: the structured and unstructured one. Although both are forms of procrastination, each can also be a way for you to choose how you’re going to be productive.
Structured procrastination is like this: you’re supposed to do the laundry or fixed that leaking pipe over the sink. Instead you choose to kill time trying to think of the whole week’s menu or mow instead your front lawn because the growing grass is getting on your nerves. Structured procrastination is somewhat related to what you are trying to put off to work house work. But instead of doing that housework, you decided on doing another thing which seems easier for you to do. When you’re done and you think you had enough downtime to rest, relax and organize, then you’ll likely turn to your original task and be on it.
Several more examples of structured procrastination involves organizing your home, office, bookshelves, files or trying to make anything go clean as a pin. Checking your emails or answering them, planning a meeting, a meal, a date, a vacation, your next month’s budgets, making your to-do lists and reading the news in papers or online are all common tasks that falls under the category of structured procrastination.
On the other hand, unstructured procrastination is simply doing things that are leaned more on self pleasure and indulgence. It’s not actually related to any work that you are supposed to do. In fact, looking into space or making out shapes from clouds can be considered as unstructured procrastination already. While to do lists and planning things are what the organized and critical people do, it can be said that the more creative person would choose unstructured procrastination to make for the downtime. Call it a creativity recharging but you will find writers and artists of different kinds spend their time walking along the park, going with a friend on a lunch date to chat, taking power naps, reading interesting books or pondering on some great ideas.
Those who choose unstructured procrastination are usually people who needs a push for their creativity especially when they work on something that needs their focus like writing a novel, painting or simply making a script for playwriting.
The Hidden Benefits of Procrastination
While most people are firm on their belief that procrastination is obviously a waste of their time, other people view it otherwise. True, time lost can never be brought back but time spent on something worthwhile should not be considered wasted. You might still be skeptical to believe it or not but good procrastination is beneficial more than harming to your actual job.
1. Good procrastination releases your body from major stress strike.
Beginnings are always exciting. It’s a fresh new start for you to do things and work your way to finishing it until the end. But doing the task along the way can be overwhelming especially if you are the only one doing it. Or it could be boring you because what you are doing now is just the same from what you are doing before. Instead of stressing yourself out, procrastination helps you avoid stress so much that might later on make you unproductive and grumpy towards people.
2. Good procrastination is not wasting your time.
Sure, you’re procrastinating your way out of the real work but doing small things and doing things that are less prioritized also push you to try focusing yourself on the big real task that you have to do. Starting the work with small task conditions yourself to get the job done before the day ends so you get to accomplish more and not let things pile up on you.
3. Good procrastination makes you healthy.
While some prefer to slouch and sleep their life away rather than do the work, people who choose to procrastinate for good choose to stay active and be active for the work they have to do. You may not feel like doing things right now but a 15-minute walk in the part or exercise is enough to make your body and brain active and energized for work. Although it’s not always that procrastination conditions you this way but at least you get to help your mind and body relax away from regular stressors that comes with your work. Some may call it recreational but you should know better that it’s already a form of stress management technique for you.
4. Procrastination gives you more time.
You’re not actually wasting your time; in fact, procrastinating allows you to work your best with more time. It’s not every day that you feel so good and positive about yourself but thinking things over gives you an idea on how to make your work become better. A little diversion here and there can help you manage yourself to get back to the work you need to do until you’re done with it without stressing yourself too much on deadlines and returned work because it’s not what and how your boss wanted it.
Just always remember: your work will always be there in front of you UNLESS you do something about it to finish and be done with it. You cannot avoid procrastination because it happens on normal people every day; every minute all across the world. Unless you do something about it as well, you can never find your way out of it. Ask yourself what works best for you. Maybe you need a little push doing little tasks before you can move on to bigger ones. Or maybe, you need some bit of unstructured procrastination before you can move further along the next step. Whatever your choice on the matter will be, always keep it mind that your decision today will affect every decision that you will make tomorrow. So choose well whether you’ll just stare at your work piling up all day or you’ll start to motivate yourself by being active and doing smaller tasks to finish things along the way.
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