When we talk about procrastination, we tend to think of it as a negative thing.
Procrastination is avoiding doing what you should, normally in order to do what you want to do instead. However, successful people know that they can use procrastination to actually achieve much more than they set out to do.
It’s all about making sure that the tasks you procrastinate with are ones that are useful in the bigger picture.
Here’s how you can boost your productivity with procrastination.
Use Structured Procrastination
If you know that you are going to be putting something off, then use the time to do something useful instead. Look at the tasks that you have yet to complete. These could be anything, so long as it’s something that needs doing or something that will benefit you in the long run. It could be cleaning the house or clearing out your emails or doing a different work task. What is important is that it is something that occupies your time until you get back on track.
When you do get back to what needs to be done, you will have achieved so much more in the day than you would have done otherwise. You can also give yourself a pat on the back for getting back to the task that you wanted to put off. Try to have a daily habit structure and be mindful of what needs doing, so you can easily choose the right things to cross off your list while you procrastinate.
Take Time to Think
When you don’t want to work on a particular task, it might be because you are finding it too difficult or unwieldy. If this is the case, then you probably need to work on your methodology. However, a better way of doing things is not just going to drop into your lap.
If you take some time away and do the housework instead, your hands will be busy while your mind is free. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to think about the issue at hand. Sometimes, even not thinking about it will help massively. You can suddenly have your breakthrough moment which allows you to see things more clearly.
A moment of mental idleness can give you the breathing space to work harder and better when you return to the task at hand.
Strip Tasks Down
When you have procrastinated for long enough, you might find that you now have little time left to achieve your objective. At this point, you can start to really strip tasks down and see what is necessary or unnecessary to the overall goal.
For example, let’s say that you wanted to write a blog post. You have set out a plan of action. This starts with researching keywords and titles, then goes on to researching content. You will be reading competitor blogs and seeing how they present the topic. Then you will write your piece before restructuring and editing it. Finally you will review your work before posting.
Now let’s say you do not have enough time left to do all of that work because the deadline is looming. What should you cut out of the process? You probably don’t need to read competitor blogs. You also may not need to do as much research as you think, particularly if you are an expert in the field. You can try to write the blog post to the correct structure in the first place instead of wasting time on a draft structure. You may only take half the time to achieve the same result.
Procrastination can be a very useful tool, so long as you are able to use it in the right way.
About the Author:
James Pointon is a constantly busy business blogger and customer consultant at OpenAgent – real estate experts. When not working, James might usually be found listening to motivational podcasts and reading books about increasing productivity.