I’m often procrastinating. Sometimes I even read about procrastination, and when I do, I find that many people see it as a negative thing. It is considered the biggest time waster, but I’m not so sure. Procrastination is essentially doing the less urgent tasks instead of doing the urgent ones. When you read it like that it doesn’t sound like a smart thing to being doing. Why would anyone do that?

We all procrastinate, but some people are more competent at it than others.

When you should be filing that report, crunching the numbers for the budget or whatever it is that you actually need to do, you’re heading out for yet another coffee or chatting to Sarah from accounts who is also procrastinating. You may even be checking your email for the 10th time in 3 minutes and shuffling the papers on your desk so that when you start to work on it, you’ll be organised.

Online distractions are wonderful for procrastinators, Twitter, Facebook and alert messages popping up on your computer monitor, reminding you of what you’re missing out on and tempting you to head on over, just for a while.
Why are you procrastinating? What are you avoiding? Is it because you don’t want to do the task? Is it because you don’t know where to start? Are you being lazy?
Having the answer to this question, is the key to you being more productive, or perhaps accepting that procrastination is a good thing.
So, I ask you again, why are you procrastinating? and what is your mind doing when you are doing this? Are you avoiding the inevitable? waiting to get in the ‘zone’ or generally need time to think about how you’re going to approach the task?
I find that I procrastinate a lot. When I think about why I’m doing it I realise that actually I use procrastination as a tool, it’s time to think, it’s time for me to get my game plan together so that I can be effective when I eventually end up doing the task. Procrastination gives me time to think about the problem I’m yet to tackle. It’s idea time.
I also work better under pressure. If I have 5 weeks to pull together an assignment I generally spend 4 weeks thinking about it, developing a plan of attack in my head. Week 5 I get myself in the zone, acknowledging that I’ve ‘wasted’ 4 weeks and somehow I get working. I remove the distractions and I’m efficient, I’m effective, and I get it done. I meet the deadlines.
For a long time I would get angry with myself for procrastinating for so long and when I finished the task I had been ‘avoiding’ I would think to myself that I wouldn’t never do that again, that I would be more efficient and effective and just get on with it and do it earlier. But I never would, and I now know why.
Procrastination is my planning phase.


This article on Job Inspirations was bought to you by Lucidity BC.

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