Is Procrastination Good or Bad?

I used to be the worst procrastinator ever!

Even as a kid, my parents had to chase me to get things done, because I always waited until the last minute with everything. As a result, I was often late, had to rush, or failed to get things done on time on a regular basis.

I couldn't explain why I put things off for so long before starting them. I didn’t like the rushing, or the disapproving looks from people waiting for me, but it felt stronger than myself, and I just couldn’t shake it.

That is, until I learned to work with it, instead of having it work against me!

If you’re like me and want to stop procrastinating or use it to your benefit, consider the following reasons and solutions for procrastinating.

REASON 1: You might procrastinate because you think that the task ahead will be challenging or too big, making you reluctant to start it.

REASON 2You might be one of those people (like myself) who perceive time differently.

It's actually proven that you can’t help it. Indeed, it's not your fault!
Studies have found that different people interpret the length of time differently, and some people genuinely feel that 10 minutes are longer.

So when they say, "I’ll be there in 10", they do believe they will be, but just attach a different value to those 10 minutes.

Not very practical, I know, but once you realise you’re one of these people, you can work with it to your advantage.

REASON 3You are forever the optimist and think you can complete a task quicker than you realistically can.

"I only need 15 more minutes...", yet half an hour later you're still going at it.

REASON 4: You need the pressure of a tight deadline to finish a task, so you 'intentionally' wait to start and limit the time you have to complete it.

This puts you under time pressure, making it easier to focus and resist distractions. Because of this, you get it all done in one go.

When you have lots of time, you don't always feel the buzz to get those creative juices flowing, which makes it harder to finish a task early.

So if like me, you regularly experience a combination of the above reasons, then you might think it’s a miracle that you ever finish anything on time.

But don't worry! You can take control of the situation and get things done more timely with the below tips to help you work 'with' procrastination:

✅ Don’t stress and make it easier on yourself. Break up a task into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Create a list of all the steps you need to take to complete the task and work through them, one at a time. This makes it less daunting and more achievable.
No more overwhelm.

✅ Just get started! If you procrastinate and more time passes, the task will often become bigger in your head than it actually is.

Often, once you start, the task doesn’t seem so hard and it's done before you know it.

✅ Set your alarm 10 minutes or more early, depending on how much time you're usually late.

Maybe you've noticed that your ‘lateness’ is usually around the same amount of time and you're always late with 10 to 15 minutes.

So when you set your clock forward, every time you check the time, it's 10 minutes later than it actually is and you'll be on time to all your appointments.

This works really well for my morning alarm. In the morning, I’m not well awake yet and I don’t pause to think that it’s not 6.30am, but actually 6.20am, when my alarm goes off.

It's not so effective for being late throughout the day though, I just think: “Oh right, I have 10 minutes extra”, and procrastinate further...

In that case, the tip below works better for me.

✅ Schedule your appointments 15 minutes earlier on your calendar than the actual meeting time.

You'll give yourself extra time to prepare, and although you know it’s not the time of the actual appointment, you're more likely to stick to the time set on your calendar than to get ready  earlier without it.

If you need the time pressure to complete your task, then give yourself enough time to finalise it well and don't leave it so late that you're not able to finish it with quality.

Remember, procrastination is not always a bad thing. It can be a useful tool if you know how to use it to your advantage. But don't let it get in the way of achieving your goals!

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