Sometimes procrastination and distractions are a good thing

I previously spoke about overcoming procrastination. But I need to admit something: I procrastinate daily…on purpose. And it really helps me get work done.

This may sound really confusing to folks to assume that procrastination is always a bad thing. However, my time management experience has thought me to embrace procrastination as another tool for productivity.

Don’t get me wrong. Procrastination can be really distracting and unproductive when left unchecked. But when done purposely, it can be very beneficial and productive. Here are some of the times I purposely procrastinate to stay productive.

When I need time to think

A lot of the work I do is mental work. It takes place in my head while I am busy with something else. I learned a long time ago that when I focus too much on trying to think up a solution, I get stuck. But if I leave it to go have some fun and relax, then a solution pops into my mind.

This is because is you think up a problem and then do something else, your subconscious works on the problems. And your subconscious is often better at thinking up solutions than your conscious. So yes, sometimes when I have a serious issue to deal with and solve, I may choose to sleep, drink coffee, play game or watch a funny YouTube video instead. And it often helps me find a solution.

When the timing isn’t right

We often try to rush things out the door as soon as we get new ideas. But sometimes an idea is ahead of its time and needs to incubate for a while before being released. In such situations, procrastination is key to success.

Even if your idea is 100% ready for release today, it may be better to delay the release date in order to test, fix and improve it. At the very least, to find a better timing for releasing it. Doing something right now isn’t always the best option.

When I know I’ll do a better job later

There are times of the day when we work better than others. For example, I write best in the afternoon. This is why even if I have time for writing in the morning, I’d rather have fun or relax. I leave my writing for the afternoon even if it means doing nothing for an entire hour in the morning.

The result: high quality writing during my peak concentration time. I get more writing done, faster, at a better quality because I left it for later. If you know you will be in a better state of mind to study, work or produce later in the day, then do not feel bad to put things off until later.

When I need an idea

Ideas don’t come to me when I am working hard or consumed by boring tasks. They pop into my head when I am relaxed or having fun. This is why I choose to distract myself when I need a new idea. I often find within a few minutes of relaxing or having fun a really good idea will come to mind…like writing this blog post. 🙂

So there you have it. Procrastination can be a part of productivity if done for the right reasons at the right time.

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Procrastination Book

Posted by Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help, author of over a dozen books, faculty manager of IOU, and a freelance writer.

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