When it’s okay to procrastinate

By Wendy Cummins • March 14th, 2017

We all know that procrastination is generally a bad practice, but there are times when it can work in your favor. 

First case in point…sometimes we feel that “keeping our nose to the grindstone” on a particularly challenging or creative task is the best way to accomplish it. However, psychologists have shown that taking some time away and doing a completely different type of task can allow your subconscious to find links between disparate concepts, thus when you return to your challenge you may have fresh ideas or perspective. Don’t keep doggedly working on a problem or assignment if you know your effectiveness has waned.  Get up, walk away, or do something mindless or completely different from the task at hand. You may find you return with a great new idea or solution now that your brain has had time to rest and reset.

We’re all victims of the onslaught of technology and the “always available” mindset in today’s world.  This makes it more important than ever to set aside unstructured time to explore creative processes and do long term planning that is integral to success in business and in life. Incorporating meditative practices (yoga, deep breathing, exercise, etc.) and/or scheduling daily focus blocks (time set aside for creative tasks) are great ways to accomplish this. Regularly unplugging from the constant barrage of emails, phone calls, meetings, tweets, posts and getting away from our mundane daily tasks allows us to tune into ourselves and harness the power of our minds. This type of procrastination can be very beneficial indeed. 

Tomorrow morning, instead of picking up your phone or rushing to your computer first thing to get a jump on your email, try taking a walk (without any devices), and enjoy the beauty around you. Your email will still be waiting for you when you get back, I promise.

 

 

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