Can procrastination be a good thing?

Melbourne has been in lock-down for 239 days, and as the days have gone by the one thing I have noticed is my levels of productivity have drastically decreased, and talking to friends and family, they report the same thing.

What else can be expected when we have been in lock-down for almost a year, yes we've had brief and fleeting moments of freedoms before we're forced back in, and it shouldn't be a surprise that people are unmotivated, exhausted and fatigued.

However is our procrastination a good thing?

Well having found some articles about procrastination it may not be the bad, evil thing we have been taught that it is.

According to Professor Frank Partnoy, it is actually a good thing. He has advised that taking a look back through history the ancient Greeks and Romans generally regarded procrastination very highly, believing that sitting around and thinking and making a decision at the last minute a great thing.

It appears we can thank the Puritanical era for the thought that procrastination is a bad thing, thanks to a John Edward's sermon. Recent studies are showing that managing delay is important for the success and happiness of people.

Now not all procrastination is good and it is a fine line between good and bad. Active procrastination is good and this is where you are unduly delaying a task but you are doing something that is more valuable instead.  Passive procrastination is the one we are all more familiar with and that is sitting on the couch not doing anything.

How do we procrastinate more actively?

1. Banish the guilt, make sure your procrastination is a conscious decision rather than the result of poor time management. 

2. Create haphazard to-do-lists, and make sure you mix up the most urgent tasks with the more fun easy to do tasks. Usually when we create a to-do-list we usually list all the most urgent hardest to do tasks up top making us not want to do them even more, by mixing them up it makes the list seem less daunting.

3. Keep an eye on your energy levels, and when you are the most productive is the time to do most of your tasks, and when you at your least productive you delay tasks. So if you are a morning person schedule most of your tasks than and vice versa.

4. Be creative with it, research shows that when we let our mind wonder, this is the best time for us to be able to fine-tune ideas, come up with a new strategy and be more creative.

5. Set personal deadlines, this is a trick of the mind, as research shows that when there is a deadline looming this will help us to focus on a task and motivate us to get it done.

With this in mind if you are stuck in the procrastination bubble, make sure it is a conscious choice and your are doing so actively.

Happy procrastination.