And more than enough times, people in the world of business would be advised to drop that and live by ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ to simply display sort of work ethic that requires immediate and diligent action.
However, being able to manage delays on a project is an important tool for human beings. For the longest time Kenyans, for example, have been referred to as ‘last-minute people’. From filing our tax returns to taking the ‘Huduma Numbers’ we mostly wait until the last minute, or until the Government issues ‘deadline extension’.
In fact, procrastination is so much part of us that we even not only ask but demand deadline extensions, yet we had a year or even months to deliver on something. It is not any different at the workplace when you must deliver on that monthly report or even with the startups when applying for grants.
This goes to show that procrastination is part of our lives and normal. more so now in the era of Social Media. It is equally a good and a bad thing. Procrastination can actually improve your productivity and happiness. At times it is advised that one can take some time off something to ensure that they can deliver better.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not advocating for procrastination but in some instances, it is equally important. You can always work on a project when you are quite sure and certain about it. It doesn’t hurt to read and re-read, ask questions and ensure you understand a contract or a project before putting a sign on it even if the deadline is neigh.
Scientists have previously argued that there are two kinds of procrastination: active procrastination and passive procrastination. Active procrastination means you realize that you are unduly delaying something, but you are doing something that is more valuable instead. Passive procrastination is just sitting around on your sofa not doing anything. Which is clearly is a problem.
We will focus more on being an active procrastinator and here are a few reasons why you should start procrastinating
Helps you figure out what tasks are more important to you: Especially if you’re a naturally productive person, the desire to procrastinate on a task can mean that the task isn’t important or valuable to you then. After procrastinating on a task for some time, you might look at it and decide it doesn’t even deserve a spot on your to-do list. This will then help you prioritize the most important tasks and those that are inclined to you. With the other tasks, you can choose to delegate or even deliver on them later.
Help do away with the ‘not so important’ tasks: At times taking time off a project gives you an opportunity to reevaluate whether the task is still important for you to work on. If you’ve procrastinated on a task for a while, it could be that it’s not even necessary or relevant to you anymore. It also gives you a chance to shelf the tasks that are not quite important or urgent and work on the tasks that are needed out more urgently.
Helps you make better decisions: If you not entirely sure which is the right choice for you to make when it comes to delivering on a task, you can easily procrastinate. Making hasty decisions at times may lead to poor deliverance on a project. Your rational mind and your intuition could be saying opposite things, and you can’t quite figure out which one to listen to. Procrastination comes to play here! This helps you avoid jumping into something that might not be right for you. It buys you time to think about all the options and their pros and cons. Once the deadline arrives, you’re ready to make the decision as you’ve done your research.
Helps deliver better results: Procrastination may simply be the wavelength your mind and intuition use to communicate to you that you shouldn’t be doing something–or at least that you should give it more time. In a world where quick, decisive thinking is most often rewarded, it can be counterintuitive to slow down and do nothing. But sometimes your unconscious mind knows best. At times procrastination can actually help you out in thinking around your project and delivering on it well as opposed to working on it hastily. You are able to read through and pretty much understand what is required of you and maybe critic the requirements and deliver better results
Helps resist peer pressure: It can be hard to go against the grain of opinion. If everyone around you is sure that the move you’re about to make is a good one, you may lack the self-confidence to go against a universally shared opinion. Procrastination may be the best way to clear your own path–it’s a passive response, which generally isn’t the best solution, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need to do.
Helps one gain more clarity on a task: Sometimes you procrastinate on a decision because you are not even sure or conflicted about the right choice. At times it’s because you are quite too tired after a long day of delivering on other projects. Take a break get some rest and probably after that once you go through a task with a clear mind, you will be able to resonate with the task and get more clarity on what the task is all about. Procrastination rewards itself by providing new information that makes even the decision easier.
Procrastination gives you an opportunity to evaluate and think things through Active Procrastination can sometimes really help one take time out and gain the perspective that only distance can give. Even a short delay can lead to a big payoff in clarity. Once a little time has passed, you might look at the issue and see a different solution or even discover that the best path forward is to do nothing.
It is time that we realized the difference between procrastination and simply being lazy. If you are an active procrastinator, well go ahead and embrace it but if you are a passive procrastinator its time you got off the comfort zone and work.
Sometimes procrastination is that voice at the back of your mind trying to tell you that you shouldn’t be doing something or telling you to process something before making a hasty decision that you might regret.