Are you here because you’re procrastinating some task by reading this piece? If yes, then that’s great! Read on.
Procrastination simply means to delay or postpone something that you’re supposed to get done. Focusing on something less important or less urgent, waiting for the last minutes to complete the tasks, or not avoiding the distractions while working.
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
Whether in our school life or in a workplace, personal tasks, or professional assignments, according to research, 95% of the people procrastinate to some degree! So, basically, we all have been there, working furiously at Friday afternoons to complete a task or assignment before it’s the boss/client-is-going-to-kill-me o’clock deadline while swearing to finish the next one on time, silently cursing yourself for not starting earlier, wondering what went wrong, how did it happen?
You’re not alone, many of us have fallen into the procrastination trap more often than we think. But is it a wicked thing? Does it make you less productive?
Procrastination Isn’t Necessarily Laziness
Laziness & procrastination are often confused with each other, but they’re very different.
Procrastination is an active process, whereas laziness is inactivity. Procrastinator chooses to do something other than the task assigned or the work he or she should be doing in favor of the one easier or enjoyable. A lazy person has an unwillingness to act or do the required task.
The Brighter Side of Procrastination
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. –
All those hours you have spent re-reading the emails & keep checking social media, ending up clicking on the articles about frustrating airline passengers or the pictures of famous celebrities hanging out with their kids. Those not-so-needed coffee breaks, or the excessive preparation of something you wouldn’t be needing for the next few days, or the amount of time you were spending on some other tasks that could be safely left on next week: people will keep telling you that you need to change, but is procrastination really a bad thing?
To have a deeper look into a procrastinators’ mind, you might find this Ted Talk of Tim Urban much helping.
Non-procrastinators don't exist, all of us are procrastinators, we all procrastinate things at some point. Some have a healthy relationship with deadlines, while the others are a little messed up. Click To Tweet
Let’s have a look at the history filled with so many success stories of famous procrastinators!
Rejoice Procrastinator, You Aren’t the Only One.
“I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do — the day after.”
― Oscar Wilde
- Remember Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect, he designed Fallingwater, his most esteemed masterpiece within two hours just because his client was about to visit for checking his progress.
- Margaret Atwood, the famous Canadian poet, the novelist has reportedly said that she “used to spend the morning procrastinating and worrying, then plunge into the manuscript in a frenzy of anxiety around 3:00.“
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the most beloved poets of all time, yet one of the least motivated writers. He had a hard time focusing on things & most of the time failed to produce anything lengthy for these publishers! “Kubla Khan” his most loved work we all know is incomplete.
- It’s not just writers who’re in the bad reputation of being a procrastinator, world’s most famous politician Bill Clinton was also “punctually challenged” & had a hard time getting anything done, according to his Vice President.
Maybe you’re thinking by now that “Correlation doesn’t imply causation!” that’s fair, but what all the above stories show is in spite of their procrastination these people succeeded in significant ways!
“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Producing a blog in praise of procrastinators can be a little contentious, as it’s tough to deny the fact that procrastination has upsides too.
Minor episodes of procrastination can be fine, but as it continues over a long period, it can lead to some extreme cases. Here is a more balanced view of both the benefits & adverse effects of procrastination.
1. Putting Things Off Reduces Stress Levels
Putting Things Off Reduces Stress Levels But Only At Level One. According to researchers, “Procrastinators may enjoy a healthy, stress-free life when deadlines are far off, but they suffer more than other people when deadlines are imminent.”
Most of the digital marketers put things off at first and enjoy a stress-free timetable as compared to those who start off working right away & keep stressing till the task is completed.
But as soon as the deadline approaches, & the game is on the next level, you wouldn’t find them in their most comfortable & everything-is-awesome zone.
This can have adverse effects on a person’s health too. For a brighter side, as said by researches & professors, here are some of the benefits of procrastination:
2. Procrastination Can Boost Creativity
Professor Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania says & we quote,
Our first ideas are often our most conventional, and if we wait and give our ideas time to stew, we’ll come up with something truly original.
Waiting Until the Deadline Can Make You Complete Tasks Faster
“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
According to the Berkeley researchers’ review of the literature,
If you give someone 30 minutes to complete a task, they’ll probably finish it in 30 minutes. Give them 15 minutes, though, and they’ll finish it in 15.
However, researchers have also noted that time pressure often sacrifices quality for speed.
3. Procrastination Helps in Improving Our Mood and Boosting Energy.
Jessica Gall Myrick explains that
The emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward.
So, if you’re watching any funny cat videos instead of getting the work done, it might help you in boosting your positive energies to work.
4. You Can Make Better Decisions By Intentional Delays.
Professor Frank Partnoy of the University of San Diego, in his book Wait: The Art and Science of Delay writes
We generally should delay the moment of the decision until the last possible instant. This allows us the maximum amount of time to gather information and brainstorm possible outcomes.
Summing It Up!
In today’s hyper-connected world, working as a social media manager with so many digital distractions procrastination can be the perfect excuse. It’s okay if you’re reading a few blogs on celebrity crushes or browsing social media instead of starting that report, or preparing a big pitch! Things that are really meant to be done won’t disappear. So, yes!Procrastination is harmful in the long run, your performance can suffer, & you might get sicker overall, but it isn’t that bad! Click To Tweet
Some specific tips & tools can help you battle with procrastination as a digital marketer, such as Social Champ. It is one of the most essential social media management tools that can help you with your procrastinating habits to turn them into productivity instead. You can sign up today for free to have stress-free social media management.
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