Why Procrastinating Is The Best Thing That You Can Do
Using procrastination as a tool to grow as a person
I thought to procrastinate was a bad thing, at least that is what I learned in school.
Well, now I look at it differently.
Procrastination is the practice of doing things that are more pleasurable and delaying ones that are not.
That is, we can procrastinate because we are avoiding pain.
However, for me, it’s deeper than that.
Procrastination can be used to take a look at what we are avoiding pain from.
Maybe you say I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.
But you keep pushing it off. When in reality, deep inside, you know that going to the gym will help you lose weight, feel your best, and reduce stress.
But the act of getting dressed, driving to the gym, does not appeal to you, and instead, you prefer to stay at home at watch Netflix.
Then, as time goes by, you feel stressed and gain weight. This turns into a vicious cycle because you stress out about something you know you should have done.
To another example, you convince yourself to work on an easier project at work versus another project that stretches you out of your comfort zone. Also, it may have the potential for an increase in income.
You keep doing the little things, back off the challenging tasks, but also push away opportunities to grow personally and even financially.
Why is that?
Is it based on fear? Are you scared of the pain that comes along with the change?
Well, no worries, you are not alone.
Now, let’s take a look at ways we can use procrastination productively, shall we?
Admit That You Are Procrastinating
You can’t change what you are not aware of. Right? Thus, the first step is to admit that you are procrastinating. I know this might be a hard thing to do, but trust me, it gets easier from there.
Then, write it down the things that you do that are classified as procrastinating. Furthermore, identify the negative and positive effects of the actions that you are doing to procrastinate.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
You are avoiding to talk to a friend about something you are upset about.
Positive effects of avoiding the conversation:
- Avoiding a potential argument.
Negative effects of avoiding the conversation:
- Feeling resentful because you are not expressing how you feel.
- You are fostering a relationship where there is no communication of your feelings and emotions. Thus, it turns into a superficial relationship, and you don’t enjoy the human connection that you desire.
The list may vary in length, and you can apply it to other areas of your life, not just relationships. It can be school, health, work, and even finances. This was just a simple example.
Use Procrastination As A Magnifying Glass
Now that you are aware that you are procrastinating use it to magnify the reason why you are doing it.
So, you got to ask yourself.
Why am I procrastinating?
Going back to the relationship example:
Maybe you are scared of getting into an argument, hence, causing you to lose a relationship potentially.
But, what if we look at it deeper. How did you get to this point? You might have adopted the habit of holding your feelings in despite what the other person says.
Maybe the other person shares his/her feelings all the time, and you listen.
Why do you that? Do you feel that you are not worthy of having someone listen to how you feel? Or do you feel unappreciated?
Moreover, you do this in all of your relationships. It’s turned into a pattern. Hence, you feel like that no one cares about you, or that you don’t have any deep and fulfilling relationships. Or you feel stuck because you are always attracting the same situations in your relationships.
Well, that’s it!
You don’t like these feelings.
You want relationships where you feel heard and understood — not just receiving all the emotional baggage from another person, more of a balanced relationship.
Now, do something about it!
Use Procrastination As An Opportunity To Change
To use procrastination as a chance to grow as a person, you can ask yourself:
What virtue can I practice in this situation?
Going back to the relationship example, the virtue to be practiced in this situation can be courage. Maybe you need to foster the courage to say how you feel, even if the other person might not receive it well.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ― E.E. Cummings
Or perhaps, its authenticity.
You are always holding back your feelings not to embarrass yourself, hence, putting on a mask that is no longer serving you.
Think about it?
Is this the person you want to be?
A person who acts in fear and doesn’t have meaningful relationships?
Or do you want to be the person that dares to express his/her feelings and opinions? Thus, enjoying fulfilling relationships?
You gotta choose one
If you chose the version of you that is more courageous and authentic, then you are growing as a person.
You are moving from being fearful and not being yourself, to a more powerful and authentic human being. You accept yourself and have no shame in showing that.
Stop viewing as procrastination as something negative.
Instead, view it as a signal that something is wrong in your life. That is, there is something you don’t like about your life that you want to improve. Turn procrastination into the best thing you have done.
Use procrastination to identify patterns you have done in the past that have led you to feel stuck or unhappy with something in your life. Furthermore, use it to magnify why you are doing it and find ways to develop virtues, which will help you grow as a person.
Focus on the benefits you are going to gain from being the person you want to be and enjoy the life you want to live.
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Disclaimer: I am not a mental health or counseling professional. These tips and advice are based on my experience and opinion as a student, tutor, teacher, and software developer. Everyone is different, so, the advice shared in this article may or may not work for you.