Were you the kid in school who waited until the last minute to cram for a test or bang out an essay? Are you still pushing off the inevitable as an adult, whether it’s a work deadline, your taxes or a necessary home repair? If so, you’ve probably been shamed with the label of procrastinator. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
According to Psychology Today magazine, highly productive people tend to procrastinate in ways that actually increase their productivity. For example, one thing procrastinators tend to do is take care of small tasks in order to avoid attacking the larger task at hand. While this may seem counterproductive on the surface, you’re actually getting things done and thereby clearing the mental space needed to tackle your big job.
Another classic procrastination tactic is diverting your attention by chatting with a friend or colleague, or surfing the net. But this may be exactly the type of activity your brain needs to get jump-started or inspired to move on to your project. A good laugh, an interesting blog or video, or a few words of inspiration will help you relax and potentially spark a creative idea that sets you in motion.
Procrastination may also be the smartest choice when we’re confronted with making a big decision. According to “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” author Frank Partnoy advocates that we wait as long as possible when faced with making a decision—up until the last possible minute, in fact. In an article in Smithsonian Magazine, Partnoy says, “People are more successful and happier when they manage delay. Procrastination is just a universal state of being for humans. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do, so we will always be imposing some sort of unwarranted delay on some tasks. The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well.”
How does one “procrastinate well?” Here are some tips for effectively pushing things off:
Take a quick walk, have lunch at the beach or read a magazine in the park. Fresh air will reset and relax the mind.
Phone a friend.
You probably owe your best friend or your mother a call. Take a few minutes to invest in a relationship.
Scroll through some favorite quotes or watch a YouTube video of someone you admire.
. A body in motion stays in motion, so do small tasks while you’re procrastinating. Vegging out on the sofa can be a dead-end street.
Take a nap.
Sometimes, however, we’re just plain tired. So take a 20-minute power nap and wake up with a fresh set of eyes.
Stay tuned for more tips on productivity, life at home and real estate trends.
Published with permission from RISMedia.