Updated: Sep 8
There are tasks which pile up and issues which need your attention. You may not be motivated to work on them but your still thinking about them in your subconscious mind. Often what puts us into a procrastination mode is that we foresee some difficulties in proceeding with some tasks and then we choose to put it on the back burner, to put it off for later. Procrastination can bring you clarity of thought.
When you procrastinate it does not equate to laziness as your still letting your mind work on stuff. Its possible to seamlessly bounce between a procrastination state to a proactive state. The trigger to going pro-active will be either driven by timing, where you need to snap out and meet a deadline, or when you know you have kind of gotten your stuff sorted and are ready to act and take the next steps.
Procrastination to me is a state where my mind is pondering through various issues that I have to deal with. Subconsciously I am going through a discovery process of weighing through the issues that are bothering me to lead me to a decision so that I can then start activating my faculties to get the job done. I have noticed that I could "switch off for a couple of hours" and just be scanning through my emails, reading reports and not doing any active work. My mind however is slowly getting less tense and getting to think through what I need to do next. This to me is an essential part of optimising my flow as it allows me to regulalry burst into a deep work focus mode and then rest again, regroup and the dive into the next upcoming body of work.
Benefits of procrastinating
You will know when your procrastinating (your will feel a bit of guilt) and my advice to you is to allow your mind that bit of latitude to just do that. The benefits are :
Allows you to disconnect from your current environment.
Relaxes your mind and relieves some of the tension and stress.
Could bring you clarity of thought on what to do next.
Assist in the prioritisation of tasks and helps to kick out the stuff which should not be in your head.
Helps you realise that time is limited and so get back to work starting with critical items.
Procrastinating is however comes with some down sides. You must be comfortable to work in a peak performance mode when you dive back into work as you will need to meet deadlines. If your not good with meeting deadlines they you could take a measured approach to how you "switch off" without taking your foot off the pedal completely. Some tasks you could do at this point in time is to catch up on :
Reviewing your product backlog. Reprioiritise it and initiaite some emails to other parties.
Look at your low prioirity task list and see if there is anything in there which you can complete by devoting not more than 5 minutes.
Browse through your product performance reports and spot anomolies and new trends
Look at an old problem which you havent closed of and see if your view of the situation and solving the problem has changed.
Connect with colleagues who you havent spoken to in while. Check in with team members to see how they are doing.
Write a few thank you notes, which you have perhaps put away for a while.
Do some light reading on the your industry or head down to one of the big consulting websites to see what new
Write down a plan of what activites you will tackle in the coming days.
An outcome from procrastinating is that you delay your decision to act on until you have run out of time. This should put you in a better position as you have had time to mull over things and are able to make your decision. The art of delaying your decisions will bring clarity of thought so that you can forge ahead with courage and determination.
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