Procrastination. Is There Anything Good about Procrastination?

Procrastination. Is There Anything Good about Procrastination?

Part two of our article on procrastination and how it impacts our daily lives.
Procrastination has defenders who say that sometimes procrastination is actually useful. Some researchers believe that postponing allows a person to conserve the resources of their body. When others tell us: "Be better than others! Be better than yourself!", procrastination becomes a kind of emergency break, allowing a person to restore the balance between activity and rest. And there is some truth in this. Even a high level of procrastination does not always mean that immediate changes are necessary.

This kind of procrastination can allow you to:
  • reduce accumulated stress
  • free up time for more important things
  • develop a better strategy for action

The Dangers of Procrastination

On the other hand, procrastination has many negative consequences. Procrastination can:

  • bring chaos to your relationships with loved ones and colleagues
  • have a negative impact on finances
  • worsen your self-esteem

Researchers note the negative impact of procrastination on your professional activity. Efficiency decreases, quality goes down, so career growth also slows down. The physical condition is also deteriorating. Those who like to postpone everything for later are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses (especially cardiovascular diseases). Delaying the execution of a task for a longer period doesn’t mean it goes away. Sooner or later it still has to get done. But instead of calm and thoughtful work, it turns into a nervous race for the deadline. As a result, either the quality of performance or our health suffers. And in most cases, both.

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What is a "Procrastination Loop"?

The stress and guilt over poor-quality results take a lot of emotional resources, further degrading psychological and physical health that is already burdened by our normal work. As a result, we get a "procrastination loop". There is little energy left for a new task, its implementation is again delayed and postponed. We barely make the deadline, thus diminishing our overall strengths. A ragged rhythm of work becomes the norm and entails a number of negative consequences, such as anxiety, depression, and an inferiority complex.

The most important criterion is a person's feelings. Does the constant postponement of things in everyday life interfere with work and rest? If this condition becomes obsessive and harms you, it may take some time to change things.

Useful Literature

To study procrastination, I have used books that I can recommend to you. A very detailed and scientific yet at the same time accessible book is from Jane Burke and Lenora Yuen, "Procrastination: why we postpone everything for later and how to deal with it right now".

A more substantial book using cognitive behavioral therapy methods is from the author Seth Gillihan: "Anxiety, Anger, Procrastination".

And finally, a very practical and informative work was written by two authors — Tanya van Essen and Henri Schouwenburg - and titled: "Procrastination: First Aid".

Interest in upgrading your skills? Check out our trainings.

Oleg Soldatov
Communication and personal effectiveness consultant
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