This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Procrastination — aka the act of unnecessarily postponing actions or decisions — is something that we’ve all done at some point. Since it is associated with a number of negative consequences, including missed deadlines and poor work or academic performance, it makes sense that we try to avoid it as much as possible. But did you know that procrastinating from time to time actually has some potential benefits? Keep reading to find out more.
Benefits of procrastination
It can give you more time to think before acting
Have you ever blurted out a “yes” to a project or an activity only to realize two seconds later that you actually don’t want to do it, like at all? Sometimes it can be a good thing to put off answering an email or replying to an invitation until you know for sure whether you have time or energy to do the thing you’re being asked to do. It also gives you the chance to gather more information so you can make a better, more informed decision.
It helps you prioritize your work
Are you one of those people who’s always busy but never seems to get any of the important stuff done? Sometimes being under pressure or under strict time constraints (because you procrastinated all day yesterday, for example) forces you to put high-priority tasks at the top of your list — and get them done faster.
It may help you work more efficiently
Having less time available to complete a task prompts you to get it done faster and more efficiently. Why? Because you simply don’t have time to waste scrolling on Instagram or squeezing in another episode of The Office before getting to work.
It reduces unnecessary efforts
We tend to procrastinate on tasks that we don’t like or that are too difficult or tedious. And let’s be honest, there are few things worse than turning in a piece of work that you didn’t want to do, only to be told it’s no longer needed. This is why sometimes, putting tasks off until closer to the deadline may help you conserve resources and save unnecessary efforts when things like that happen.
It may lower stress and anxiety
While it may sound counterintuitive, putting off something that you’ve been dreading or are too anxious to take on might give you more time to mentally prepare yourself for the task at hand. Of course, the degree to which procrastinating can reduce stress also depends on how anxious you are about procrastination itself. In other words, if putting off things makes you feel stressed, procrastinating will probably make you feel even more anxious.
To wrap things up
Everyone procrastinates from time to time. Doing it doesn’t make you lazy, unprofessional, or a bad person. In fact, putting off things or waiting until closer to the deadline can actually have some benefits.
It’s important to mention, though, that when procrastination becomes chronic, it can quickly turn problematic. It can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders, interfere with your relationships, and lead to poor work or academic performance. So, like everything in life, procrastination is something you engage in only in moderation to avoid any negative consequences.
Visit https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/procrastination/ if you’re interested in learning more about procrastination and how to overcome it.