You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.” — Mortimer Adler
For the past week or so I’ve been planning on publishing a new blog post. Initially, I was meaning to talk about morning routines, but I lost my muse somewhere in between reading the morning habits of successful people, and the benefits of journaling. After a brief absence, we met again in an article on overcoming laziness and doing more. The article was exceedingly thorough, too thorough in fact that I ended up bookmarking it for later. Somehow, I had spent several hours reading articles on how to do more, with nothing to show for. The irony was not lost on me.
Initially, I felt a little disappointed with myself for procrastinating so much. You see I’m slightly obsessed with ticking things off of my do to list. There is a natural high I get from accomplishing things that’s quite addictive. But more often than I would like to admit, I find myself mindlessly putting off my tasks. This got me thinking, why do we procrastinate, and why has procrastination gotten such a bad name? If we do something inadvertently, maybe our brain is being intentionally lazy. So I spent a couple more hours reading procrastination articles, and I found that wasting time worrying about wasting time, is counter productive. Obvious right? I thought so too. So the next time you find yourself slacking off, don’t fret …Procrastination has its surprising perks. I’ve rounded up my favorites:
Stalling, actually makes you make better decisions:
In his book Wait Frank Partnoy argues that you receive the most benefits from using all the allotted time to evaluate things. I’m a firm believer in gut instinct, but sometimes, snap judgments lead to rushed decisions. So the next time I find myself hesitating over a conclusion, I’ll reassure myself that I’m simply waiting for a better one.
A shot of Adrenaline can do you good:
When we procrastinate its usually because of a dip in energy levels. When we procrastinate a tedious or difficult task, as the deadline approaches we are overcome with fear, which releases adrenaline- your body’s energy source. So basically, fear releases adrenaline your body’s natural caffeine. Like caffeine it is a pain reliever and feeling less pain makes doing difficult or less desirable tasks easier.
It brings your inner secretary to life:
Don’t you suddenly find yourself effectively going through your emails, cleaning out your overstuffed office drawer, and maybe even finally drop off your coat at the dry cleaner’s. It magically lets you get all the tiny tasks done since you would do anything to avoid doing the one thing you are procrastinating over.
Lets be honest, its fun!
Scrolling through instagram, mindlessly collecting recipe ideas, chit chatting with your colleagues and laughing over a silly meme is often an hour well spent. Provided, you still managed to get a little bit done, that sounds like a good day to me.