If you’re like the rest of humankind, procrastination is probably something you’re familiar with. You put things off until the last moment, avoid taking important decisions and always promise yourself that you’ll start your new exercise routine on Monday. Then you spend hours feeling bad about it and reading articles on how to stop procrastinating. But procrastination doesn’t always need to be cured. In fact, it can be a useful tool for achieving your goals in a happier, more efficient way.
There’s a reason why you procrastinate
Procrastination usually happens because there are two (or more) opposing thoughts and emotions running through our brains. Even when we know that a project we’re working on will propel us forward in our career, we may be dreading the extra responsibility that will come with it or scared that we’ll fail. Or we may need to do a task because our boss told us so, but we find the task boring and completely ineffective for achieving the end result. Or we push ourselves to get through our to-do list when our body is screaming, ‘Enough, I just need a break’. Procrastination can be used as a barometer to uncover those hidden motivators and choose a better way of dealing with them.
Procrastination can make you more creative
If you find yourself procrastinating on a project that requires some level of creativity, it may be a sign that you’re not ready yet with the best possible solution. While you’re busying yourself with other, less important stuff, your subconscious mind is busy going through all possible options. You’ll feel renewed energy and inspiration once the calculations are complete. Usually having a deadline helps with this type of procrastination. If your mind knows that it has to be finished by a certain deadline, you’ll often find the solution floating up to the surface with just enough time to integrate it into your work.
Procrastination can make you help better decisions
If you’re procrastinating over an important decision, it probably means that you’re not completely happy with any of the options that you see for yourself at the moment. Instead of forcing yourself to just pick something, check with yourself what would make this decision easy for you. What would have to be true so that you could decide without hesitation? Just asking this question can reveal options that you were unaware of before, but can be much better for you.
Procrastination can be a sign that you’re over-committing
Are you always saying ‘yes’ even to requests that you don’t want to say ‘yes’ to and you can’t physically fit into your day? In that case, see what you can take off your plate and how you can stop over-committing in future.
Next time you find yourself procrastinating, instead of unleashing your inner critic, ask yourself why you’re procrastinating and how you can use what procrastinations is telling you to make progress, while staying true who you are and looking after yourself.
Image by Unsplash via Pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova