By: Andi Breitowich
You look at the clock and realize its already 9 at night. That essay that you have known about for two weeks is due tomorrow. You have continually reprioritized your responsibilities time and time again, but now its crunch time. Procrastination has overcome you, yet again.
In today`s society speed is often rewarded. We strive to be the first, the quickest, and the one who gets the most done. Procrastination is often frowned upon and deemed an “irresponsible action”. Although procrastination clearly has some disadvantages it is not all bad. In school they teach you to always work hard and not wait until the last minute. They attempt to expel this “horrible” habit of procrastination. But in reality is it honestly that bad? The answer is no.
According to research by Adam Grant published by the New York Times, about 20 percent of adults report being chronic procrastinators. There are some true benefits that will enhance your education and learning experience. A term known as “active procrastination” can be good when used in a correct and beneficial way. One major benefit to procrastination is it allows you to be more productive, because you automatically ignore the unnecessary. If you are an “active procrastinator” then you will clear your list of tasks quickly because you are under a deadline. By powering through the to-do list, you will soon realize the value of importance of each task. You can evaluate your list of tasks and this will allow you to realize whether the task is still relevant. Procrastination also allows your creative juices to flow. Procrastination provides an opportunity to be more reflective, to develop questions, to let thoughts percolate, and to discover fresh ways to tackle what has to be done. Procrastination is a catalyst of sorts because it gives “bonus” time to synthesize ideas, change them, and develop a plan of action. When you are aware that something is due, or needs to be completed, your mind is subconsciously searching and collecting ideas. When your remember that you only have three hours to complete a daunting task your mind attempts to set you at ease and think of ways to complete the task with innovative ideas.
When people procrastinate, attitude and volition can determine how or if they will ultimately move forward and complete the project. We often times procrastinate because we need time for our ideas to ferment. Procrastinating is gathering information, which is a recipe for success. This is the time where you allow your mind to dream up innovative solutions to allow you to complete your to do list before the deadline. So next time you find yourself in an idle moment on a creative project, unsure whether to push yourself harder or chill out in search of inspiration, remember what Rita Mae Brown said, ““If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”