Sometimes delays are forced on us. Sometimes we ourselves make delays happen. Is procrastination always a bad thing? Are there any benefits to it? How might we get the most from it? This time, for a change, you will see some ideas from writers who are not scientific researchers.
What are the benefits of procrastination?
Jerry Jenkins, novelist and writing coach, is a highly prolific writer who admits to procrastinating, despite having deadlines on the calendar. He tries working in different locations, makes efforts to avoid distractions, but still finds he has not met his goal of writing a certain number of pages per day. He has even lost sleep about it and made himself promises he did not keep the next day.
Jenkins urges you to accept that you do procrastinate but you should not be overly concerned about it. You absolutely should not worry and feel negatively about it when you do delay what you know we must do. That would only make you feel worse.
I procrastinated in writing this newsletter and enjoyed the break in rhythm it gave. It was refreshing to spend time away from the screen while the mind still kept working on this idea in the background.
You can still meet or come in before your proposed deadline if you come back to your work after a break. Sometimes that space will offer new perspectives. If you get enough sleep, without worrying about procrastinating, then you will have the renewed energy to continue what you set out to do.
How can we procrastinate without feeling unproductive?
If you are looking for some top tips in dealing with procrastination, business writer Jessica Stillman has chosen these five. Basically the idea is to do some of what you can do, rather than being stuck because of what you can’t do.
It is worthwhile to acknowledge your time limit and the fact that you are only human. Embrace a lack of perfection, even if you feel there is more you could do to improve the quality. A good editor or proofreader can help you in some aspects, after all.