The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines procrastination as the “act of putting off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Procrastination is a habit often looked down upon as counterproductive, pointless, or even lazy. It is no wonder that with modern society’s “git-r-done” mentality procrastination would be viewed in a negative light. While procrastination has been proven to result in stress and counter-productivity, a normal degree of procrastination can actually be beneficial. A healthy level of procrastination offers one time to think things through, to plan, and to build courage, as well as providing the adrenaline rush needed to get the job done on time.
To put off doing something
Time to Think it Over
There is the saying that “only fools rush in.” One of the benefits of putting off a task is that one has time to think it over. Many people find that if they sleep on a difficult decision they will come to a better conclusion having not dealt with it in the heat of the moment. The decision to buy a new car or have a baby should not be made in the span of hours but days, if not weeks. Taking the time to “sleep on it” will benefit a person in the long run.
Time to Plan Ahead
Sometimes, diving into a project headfirst without preparation is not the best course of action. Plowing ahead before fully planning the details can result in unexpected problems and delays. A person cannot go back and correct the mistakes nor can one regain the time lost in correcting mistakes. Procrastination allows one time to plan and prepare for the best course of action. In the long run, this can save a lot of time and frustration.
Time to Build Courage
Some challenges can be emotionally or mentally draining on a person. Sometimes, in order to move forward, one has to take time to build the courage required to conquer a difficult task or situation. It can be tempting to avoid a difficult decision or task all together, but taking some time to mentally and emotionally prepare can prevent burn-out and improve the chances for success.
The Adrenaline Rush
Perhaps the adrenaline rush is one of the most popular benefits of procrastination. Nothing gives a business person or a college student a free high like completing a project at the last minute. The excitement of racing the clock to complete a task by the deadline is often compared to the rush people get when gambling. For many, the feeling of accomplishment they feel when they beat the clock is one of the most gratifying benefits of procrastination.
Overall, procrastination is not unhealthy. In fact, it can be very beneficial. Though, it is important not to turn ‘normal’ procrastination into a destructive habit. Anxiety and laziness can often impede one’s abilities to function. Being aware of one’s abilities, limits, and goals can prevent failure and improve progress and success.