“My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”—Charles Dickens
Procrastination is the “voluntarily postponing and delaying of tasks.” Putting off tasks that can be completed easily and deserve immediate attention, is an unproductive pattern and one of the biggest productivity killers at work. Unfortunately, we have all fallen prey to procrastination at one time or another. Be it unpleasant tasks, poor structure, presence of distractions, anxiety, or lack of self-confidence that is forcing you to procrastinate, you must overcome this issue.
If you are struggling with it or finding it a tough nut to crack, you should turn the tables on your predicament and instead leverage it to your advantage. After all, when life gives you lemons, you are told to make lemonade! After reading this article, you will realize that procrastination isn’t all a bed of thorns, and good things can actually come out of it. In this article, we will show you how you can put your procrastination habits to work to your benefit.
1. Make the Most of Your Peak Hours
Just like in life, our work days are marked by highs and lows. In order to be more productive, you need to maximize your peak hours to compensate for energy slumps. As our energy goes down the drain, so does our desire to complete tasks. This opens up the doors of procrastination, which is why we tend to put off today’s work for tomorrow. The better you utilize your most productive hours of the day, the more dynamic you will be. More importantly, you will have more room for procrastination during down times, helping you relax and unwind after an eventful day.
2. Delegate, Streamline and Prioritize
With so many tasks to complete in a single workday, maintaining focus on any one seems rather unattainable. Procrastinators have a clear advantage here, as they can streamline their daily workload in a much better way. They only focus on tasks which are creeping towards their deadlines or tasks they love to do. This brings out the best from procrastinators and helps them to be more productive. Procrastinators can easily delegate tasks that they avoid to others and focus on fewer tasks that are more important to them.
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3. Move Fast and Break Things
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, not only proposes but also practices the philosophy of “Move Fast and Break Things”. In fact, it is one of the secrets behind the thriving success of Facebook. When we procrastinate, we fall behind the schedule, which increases anxiety and stress. On the brighter side, nothing can motivate you and persuade you to push harder than the realization of falling behind the eight ball. It brings out the best in you and gives you an adrenaline rush. When you combine that with stress, it can boost your energy and let you complete unfinished tasks.
4. Listen to What Your Customers Have to Say on Social media
Hop on to the social media bandwagon and you can easily find tons of stuff that can get your adrenaline pumping again. Find motivation and inspiration on social media and put your procrastination time to good use. Another tactic you can use to listen to what you customers are saying about your brand on social media, is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and try your products and services. What did you like and dislike about them? This will help you make future improvements that your clients and customers will appreciate.
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5. Revamp Your Workspace
The environment and locality of your workspace has a vast bearing on your mood and behavior. It can either encourage procrastination or discourage it. Look around and find out how you can improve your workplace environment to foster productivity. Scientifically proven productivity hacks show that making small adjustments such as keeping a plant in your workspace, working in natural light, and keeping temperatures in check can pay rich dividends in the long-run.
6. Read Something Different
Are you feeling down? If yes, then you need some inspiration and motivation to recharge your creative batteries. You can easily find that by reading something different, something that you have never read before. It could be a different category from the one you are accustomed to, a different genre, or anything else that can inspire you. Pick up a magazine that you have never read before. Skimming through a new magazine can create excitement and give you the much needed energy boost. You never know where your next inspiration is coming from so keep looking for it in the most unusual places.
7. Strike a Better Work Life Balance
“Excess of everything is bad.” You might have heard this age-old adage many times, right? However did you know that this rule applies to procrastination as well? Little procrastination will do no harm but when procrastination becomes a habit and becomes a regular in your workday, things start to go haywire. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to procrastinate and spend some quality time with your friends and family occasionally. This will help you improve your work life balance, which is critical for a happy personal and professional life. Indulge in healthy activities, such as taking a walk with your loved ones, exercising, or investing some time in personal development.
After reading this article, you might be thinking that procrastination is not as evil as people have made it out to be, especially your employers. While admittedly it can have negative repercussions on your productivity, but only if you let it. You can easily put this negative habit to good use and take advantage of it. Are you struggling to get over your procrastination habit? Is it hampering your productivity? Let us know in the comments section below.