Procrastination tends to be more commonly grouped with other nonconstructive behaviors such as laziness, stalling, sluggishness, time-wasting and obstructing. However, procrastination can also be a secret refuge for unfolding wonderful results. The pause between the intention to complete something and its actual completion is a potent motivator to unlocking ingenuity. It’s felt as a switch that gets turned on inside, like an alignment between cognizance and desired outcome.
Procrastination can be positively used as time of reflection, sifting through details and visually preparing the steps necessary for an accomplishment. Using procrastination to contemplate can be very powerful.
The effects of procrastination can be realized through a spark of creative genius, contagious enthusiasm or profound clarity. The exhilaration after completing an intended project can ignite elevated levels of inspiration and deep feelings of self worth.
Of course prolonged procrastination can lead to unnecessary stress and habitual strain, which wrecks havoc on self-confidence. We are often unable to understand our causes of procrastination, and go into judgment, negativity and self doubt when our “to-do lists” continually grow. Studies show over commitment leads to negative procrastination, (and the false persona of being a super hero).
Our inability to see through commitments exasperates our stress and clouds our judgment. In order to avoid stress, its important to create a plan and believe the plan will be accomplished. A common pitfall to negative procrastination is changing deadlines to fit into self-induced delays, which cause anxiety, lethargy as well as poor sleep.
Taking on more commitments does not initiate self worth.
Building trust is the key to positive procrastination. Trust follows integrity and the goals we set out to accomplish must meet our intentions, otherwise our “word” holds little value.
Procrastination is a personal choice and one that should be reviewed carefully. Kept in balance, procrastination acts as a foundation to a puzzle yet to be fully recognized.
1. Be realistic about the number of commitments – monitoring how much is
enough is key to balance and follow through.
2. Make a plan and write out the details – often times, projects are put on the
back burner creating fuzziness about the particulars.
3. Create a deadline and stick to it – balancing time can be a great way to ensure
goals are met.
4. If you have several tasks, complete the one you like the least – this is a good
psychological power play and motivator.
5. Carve out time– when you are so busy there is no time to complete projects,
procrastination causes upset and stress.
6. Have integrity and trust yourself – the way we feel is a solo journey.
7. Give yourself a “reward” for accomplishing a difficult task – celebrating
yourself is very healing.
8. Redefine procrastination as a positive pause for reflection.
9. Lose the judgment – if procrastination follows a failure to accomplish something, be kind, patient and recommit to following through next time.
10. Honor the time to contemplate your projects. Slowing down can provide
another direction or path unavailable until now.
Author - Lisa M. Brazelton