Let’s Talk

Can Procrastination Be Good for You?

Chances are, you’re probably familiar with the concept of procrastination. We all do it, whether it’s cramming for a test at the last minute, putting off doing laundry until there’s nothing to wear, or waiting until the last second to file taxes.

It’s safe to say that procrastination can cause a fair amount of stress, but can it be good for you as well? Some Calgary psychology experts and others around the world have pinpointed a few ways procrastination can be beneficial.

Allows you to get in touch with your intuition.

Many people get frustrated with themselves when they procrastinate and put things off and chalk their procrastination up to laziness or a lack of motivation. However, some psychologists believe that procrastination is actually a natural response to your body’s intuition or gut feeling that something isn’t quite right with the situation. Your personal intuition is a powerful force that should be listened to.

Instead of mentally beating yourself up when you find yourself procrastinating, take a moment to closely examine why you are procrastinating. Ask yourself if what you are about to undertake is something you really want or need to do. If something feels wrong, or you get a sinking feeling in your stomach, your procrastination could actually be your own internal warning that something is not right.

Gives you energy.

Other times, we procrastinate simply because we don’t have the energy or inclination to start a project or task. Waiting until the last minute, when you must act or face serious repercussions, often provides you with an adrenaline rush to complete your task in a timely manner. You’ve probably heard people say they do their best work under pressure or after they have put something off until the last minute. This is usually because the energy and adrenaline we experience allows us to focus better.

Makes you face your fears.

Procrastination can also be the result of fear. If you are putting things off because you are afraid of something, take this time to face your fear head on. Identify what it is exactly that you are afraid of. For example, let’s say you are in charge of planning a baby shower party and keep putting it off. Upon further reflection, you realize your procrastination is actually fear that the party won’t be successful or that no one will come. Once you identify your fear, you can take steps to address and overcome it and put procrastination behind you.

Helps you prioritize.

Some people procrastinate because they are overwhelmed. This is especially the case in a society that encourages and even rewards multitasking. However, when you take on too much, you only end up stressed and overwhelmed. Procrastination is sometimes a way of prioritizing the things you need to do or warning you that you’re overwhelmed. If you find yourself continually procrastinating not because you’re afraid of the task or it feels wrong, perhaps you are taking too much on at any given time. Consider delegating or reducing your workload.

Although it has negative connotations, procrastination can actually be good for you. Not only does it give you an occasional burst of adrenaline and energy to accomplish a task, but it also allows you to be more in touch as you take a look inside and examine the deeper meaning behind putting something off.