Often times, procrastination is a bad idea, especially at work. We've been led to believe that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. However, there are times when putting your work away for a later time can actually be benefcial. This habit is actually good...if you use your time wisely.
According to research from the Smithsonian Instituion, there are two types of procrastination: passive and active. Procrastination is considered passive if you spend your time, for example, mindlessly browsing the internet. On the other hand, it's considered active when you browse the internet but look for inspiration in order to improve on your project. Think of active procrastination as last minute inspiration, where your best ideas bubble to the surface under pressure.
Still, not all people work well under pressure, which is why passive procrastination happens. Once you lose hope and confidence in working, you end up wasting your time instead of doing something productive before your deadline.
Having been aware of the benefits of procrastination, you must now determine when you should procrastinate. Here are a few scenarios where procrastination could actually help you accomplish a task:
Not feeling motivated
When you're not feeling motivated, you'll most likely procrastinate. But don't let yourself just stare out into space without letting your mind function. While your mind is wandering, try to focus on thinking of other tasks you need to work on. According to career advisor Bernadette Ocampo of Career Consultants, Inc., you should use your idle time to mine inspiration. It could be a window where you think of ways to be more efficient.
Brewing the creative juices
Steve Jobs was a popular procrastinator. He tended to put off certain projects which drove his team nuts. If you think about it, if he didn't procrastinate, the iPhone that we all know and love would probably be totally different. Procrastination can afford you time to get your creative juices flowing. This will make way for better ideas.
Making important decisions
Important decisions should never be rushed. Whether your decision concerns work, family, or finances, you should put careful thinking into it. "You should relax your mind when you're making a big decision. Too much pressure on thinking will lead you to make bad choices," Ocampo says. It's alright to delay your decision for a bit in order to collect necessary information to make the best possible choice.
Before making presentations
Do you have a big presentation you're going to pitch to your boss? If so, then make time to procrastinate. "Don't do it right away as the best ideas often come when you're near the deadline," according to Ocampo. Also, like in memorizing, you'll most likely be able to make a better presentation when the ideas are fresh in your mind. Imagine doing the presentation a week ahead of when you need it. Would you still be able to remember the details?
When you're trying to avoid a particular task
Having a lot of things to do for a certain day can be overwhelming. Procrastination should enter the scene in order for you to identify which one you should do first. According to Psychology Today, the time when you're procrastinating can help you assess which tasks you can bump off and do on a different day.