As much as I’d like to encourage you to travel .. due to recent news, please stay put and stay healthy <3
Upsides of ProcrastinationOn April 7, 2020 by S.K. Lakenen
We’re often consumed with guilt and shame when we catch ourselves procrastinating. Procrastination can subconsciously creep up and without meaning to, we end the day without completing the task we meant to do, even if it seems like we were busy all day. Procrastinating isn’t the act of “not doing anything.” Rather, it’s a tendency to delay the task in hand. It doesn’t only happen with job-related matters. It also occurs to other aspects in life – social, health, relationships.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
– Laurence J. Peter
There are many reasons why we procrastinate. Maybe the task is too tedious, the mood isn’t right or your mind isn’t ready to work. Whatever the reason is, there’s a resistance -either subconsciously or not- to focus on the work. While procrastination gets a bad reputation, all paths don’t necessarily lead to harmful ramifications.
Have you ever experienced working hard on a project, only to find out that the deadline postponed or cancelled? I had to endure this vicious cycle during my design career. The team would pull an all-nighter to comply with the client’s demand for immediate changes. Sleepless and low in energy, ready to submit the changes, then was told that the changes should be on hold – because contractors haven’t had the chance to review it yet, and the clients too busy to do so until the following week.
Putting off some work until a later time, will not only lessen the burden, but also could save you the time (and stress) on working on a job that would end up being unmerited.
When the deadline comes nearer, it forces you to have a laser-point focus on the work that needs to be completed. Without the pressure of a deadline, the tendency to spend more time than necessary in completing the task becomes inevitable. And the quality of work of either approach is more or less on par.
I’ve worked on my previous write-ups for weeks before publishing. I procrastinated for three weeks for this write-up, and admittedly, 90% of the work was done just a couple days prior – with less re-editing and a stronger certainty of the message I wanted to convey.
Completing more tasks
As mentioned earlier, procrastination isn’t the act of doing nothing. While the mind and mood may not be ready to tackle the more time-consuming and complex active problem solving, the smaller tasks get done and the to-do list shrinks. A sense of accomplishment with crossing off the minor chores might be the nudge needed to get the motivation to tackle the more challenging tasks.
In the design field, the more creative individuals I know have one trait in common – they wait until it’s close to the deadline before starting on their design. And often, it results in an inspired and original design scheme. A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of working with a talented mind (Hey Chimmy!) and I got to experience first hand what last minute designing was like. With two hours given to produce a second option design (after spending days on the first), and we managed to generate a full rendering, floor plan and concept presentation pages. In the end, the second option was a lot more original and artistic compared to the first.
This kind of occurrence happens often. Even Frank Lloyd Wright, a noted architect, procrastinated at work. When a client asked him to design a private residence, Wright didn’t start any sketches until his client decided to come over one day to see the designs. It took him two hours before his client’s arrival to design the residence, named the Fallingwater, now known as his crowning achievement in his career. The Fallingwater became such an icon that it was added to UNESCO’s elite World Heritage List and American Institute of Architects called it the “best all-time work of American architecture.”
Delaying in commencement in work is often an indication that ideas aren’t ready yet to be formed fully. When we work on alternative tasks, we allow our mind to come up with ideas that could only have evolved with time.
“I’m sorry.” Two words that are sometimes fast to escape the lips, without deliberate intention and weight. When there’s a conflict, there’s pressure to get it over with as soon as possible. However, immediate confrontation usually leads to a more hurtful exchange. Delaying apologies (or rebuttals) for a later time gives the mind time to calm down, regain composure and nurture empathy towards the other. Delaying delicate matters creates a calmer environment that welcomes thoughtful and sincere conversations. Some moments require slower thinking for the end goal to be effective.
These are just a few benefits of procrastinating. However, it’s important to be aware when it starts to become harmful; when it significantly interferes with achieving your important goals in life. By the end of the day, only you would know if procrastinating plays a more favorable role in your lifestyle. Whether procrastinating occasionally helps you complete tasks, or you produce higher quality of work when you perform systematically – work with the method that compliments your efficacy.