Procrastination: A Method for Success
You might be a little confused at the title. Is he saying that procrastination can be used as a method for success? Yes, yes I am. Let me tell you why.
Procrastination has received a bad reputation. Rightly so. The definition of the word means to delay something of a high priority, specifically with something of a lower priority. How could anything that leads you to neglect important things be viable? Oh ye of little faith…let me play devil’s advocate a bit and then I’ll bring it in for the conclusion.
Why do people shirk their responsibilities? Good question, I’m glad you asked.
Most people put off things because they are difficult, frustrating, emotionally or mentally draining, and even because their curiosity is insurmountable and, as a side effect, end up losing track of time. This leads to three possible outcomes, the first being the rarest: you procrastinate briefly and have plenty of time to complete the priority, you procrastinate and you are pressed for time to complete the priority, and you procrastinate and you never complete the priority or complete it late.
Given these circumstances, it’s easy to see why procrastination is frowned upon, but I’m here to tell you about the positive affects of procrastination and how it can be used, beneficially, to improve your chances of success. I am not saying to start procrastinating. I’m saying that if you already procrastinate, this can help you.
Why does procrastination even exist? Procrastination is your mind’s way of dealing with stress, actually. It’s a natural defense mechanism. When you feel something is eminently stressful, your mind creates multiple channels to avoid those situations. Now, eventually, you will have to deal with most of them, but there is a message your mind is telling you that needs to be heeded; reduce your stress.
The real issue with the existence of procrastination is in the activities which you participate. To combat this you have to first make a list of productive activities. Productive activities could include learning a subject that would be relevant to your job or your daily life such as programming, gardening, new tools/software, etc. Please do not sit at your computer and surf the net all day for clothing, gossip, and Facebook updates. If you sit down and write a list out, selecting from it in time of need will be a great supplement to your skills in all areas.You could also pick smaller tasks at work or home with less priority to add to the list, although a completely stress free topic would be more helpful.
Additionally, it is important not to go over your time limits. Being late or non-existent will definitely not score you any points at work and will probably get you fired. Doing so at home will upset family members and cause relationship trouble. First, identify the deadline of the priority. Next, identify how long it will take you to complete the activity. Multiply the estimated length by two, subtract the time from the deadline and that is the line you do not want to cross.
I know there are still people reading this right now, thinking how ignorant it is to develop a method for using procrastination. To this I pose a question. Is it not more ignorant to continue to struggle with a natural brain function than to manipulate it to your advantage? Some people will struggle with procrastination all their lives, spending frivolous hours needlessly. It’s fine for those of you with self-discipline and restfulness enough to never procrastinate. For those others who will never quit, why not at least find out how you can use it to your advantage. I, personally, have an extremely overactive mind. My mind is so restless and wanders to a magnitude that to not procrastinate would feel intrusive. I honestly feel that if I am not answering questions that my impulsive mind proposes, that I am doing myself a disservice. Curiosity and the inability to let things lie dormant are the reason for most advances in science, philosophy, and biology.
I hope that you never miss a deadline, but also I hope that your curiosity is never quenched, your vigor in learning never subsides, and that you learn to utilize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. This article itself was written in the name of procrastination, forged in the fires of inquisitiveness. Adapt and overcome comrades. Adapt and overcome.