It is normally assumed that procrastination is the prime cause why work remains undone, causing last minute agonies and huge losses to businesses. Is it therefore possible that procrastination could actually be good for your career? How many times have we put off doing work, listening to the comforting voice of procrastination and watching that game on television, or visiting a friend and just catching up on sleep?
Sitting on your office desk, you gossip with the guy on the next one, check your email, drink a cup of coffee, recheck your mail, update your status on social media and by the time you get down to doing the work that you are paid for, a cursory glance at the watch shows that two hours have passed.
Procrastination is never seen as a good thing and the net has thousands of sites dedicated to its ills and problems that it causes. Yet, there is a good side to it that very few talk about – it is called creative procrastination.
Before you say, I knew it and consider playing video games on the computer or shopping online as creativeness, then you have another think coming.
A recent research by academician Donald McKinnon says, that if you don’t attempt a difficult problem immediately but play around with it and explore all avenues of resolving it, chances are that you will eventually come up with a solution that you had not thought of the first time around. Procrastination made the solution more creative, because you had more time to ponder over it.
Frank Partnoy, author of the book Wait: The Art and Science of Delay says that putting things off can ultimately lead to better decisions and improve the quality of one’s life. He attributes his successful academic career to his habit of procrastinating.
Procrastinating does not mean not doing the work, eventually you are going to do it, be it studying for your finals, cleaning your house, finishing the project, the break might just help you recharge your batteries to do a better job than what you would have done earlier.
Just as there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, there is creative procrastination and negative procrastination.
The latter is what most of are familiar with. It is when you put off a task but don’t substitute it with another constructive task. However, in the former, creative procrastination, you remain conscious to the fact that there is something that needs to be done, but you are putting it off, either because there is something else that requires your priority time or that you are thinking of better ways of doing it.
Creative procrastinators are aware of the time they will need to do the work and know when to start to meet deadlines. Moreover, they work better under pressure and don’t allow it to get the better of them. The belief in their ability surpasses all else.
Negative procrastinators, on the other hand, keeping putting the work off, agonize about it when there is too little time to do it and many a times end of not doing it all.
When you procrastinate, ask yourself this question, why are you putting off doing something that you will eventually have to do? Nobody puts off eating a tasty dish or watching that important game, even it means staying up into the wee hours of the night. It just means that there is a difference in doing what you enjoy doing and what you don’t enjoy doing.
Once you find the reason for your resentment, you’ll be better able to address it and be a better person for it.