10 Healthy Reasons to Procrastinate
Read this instead of doing that other thing.
Procrastination! It’s a very bad word, especially in the context of endless work and mandatory striving, which is to say—the context of the economy we live inside. And yet, procrastination has many lovely facets.
And here are ten of them, all polished and bright for you to gawk at:
The first win of procrastination:
The work you’re putting off just might be destructive and wrong.
In which case, don’t do it today. Maybe even forget about it. Miss that deadline. Save little bit of the world.
The second win of procrastination:
You learn the difference between work done and time spent working.
If productivity only measures time spent and not the results of that investment, why waste that time? If Sisyphus takes a day off, does it even matter?
The third win of procrastination:
Other, more beneficial things can be done with your time.
You can do MANY other MORE DELICIOUS things with the time you spend not doing what you’re “supposed to” be doing. Time can never be truly wasted, only spent in alternate ways.
The fourth win of procrastination:
You train yourself to work smarter.
Say you have five days to finish something. Play for four days, work for one, and see if anyone notices. Most people won’t (see all the report cards of all the former-kids now in charge of offices for proof of this).
The fifth win of procrastination:
You give chores ONLY the time they need.
If you have five weeks to tinker with a project, you’ll build it and dismantle it dozens of times. If you have five minutes, you’ll just put it together and move on. Work expands to fill the time you’ve allocated to completing it.
The sixth win of procrastination:
You just might never get around to it.
And by missing a deadline, not returning a call, or failing to do something you don’t want to do, you steer your life in a new direction. It might even be a better one in a large way—like leaving a role to become more of the person you honestly want to be.
The seventh win of procrastination:
The task often changes while you ignore it.
Oh, that room you were going to redo last year? Well, styles have changed. The piece the client wanted? Today they want something else. That tech project you were going to start last month? It’s entirely obsolete now. Sometimes, by not acting so fast—you waste much less effort.
The eighth win of procrastination:
You slow down the onset of burnout.
A nose left on a grindstone is guaranteed disfigurement. If you are always, perpetually, constantly PERFORMING, you will destroy yourself quickly. Procrastination is a method of pacing, a tool for collecting yourself and giving yourself time to think and strategize. Use it.
The ninth win of procrastination:
You teach yourself to relax.
Is it urgent? Yes. Is it important? No. Then don’t destroy yourself over it. Stupid tasks can wait, or even be ignored forever. Learn to live with FOREVER UNFOLDED towels or some other task you can leave benignly undone, and let your blood pressure fall to safe levels.
The tenth win of procrastination:
You learn what matters to you.
Can’t wait to work on it? Don’t WANT to put off doing it? Want to do THAT ONE THING instead of THOSE OTHER THINGS? Congratulations: you used procrastination as a tool of motivational illumination. The things you don’t want to NOT DO are the keystone activities of your life.
So this week, put yourself first, and put off something awful.