Throughout life, everyone encounters procrastination. It takes up all of our productive time and prevents us from completing our projects in a timely manner. We all wish we could stop procrastinating; however, I don’t think that’s the right solution.
Procrastination can act as the greatest period of growth in a day.
When discussing it as a tool, I’d rather refer to it as focus fatigue. Focus fatigue is when you don’t want or have the motivation to work on a project at a given time. Many see this as a wall; however, if you see it as a divergent path you will become more productive overall.
For example, when I’ve been working on an economics assignment for an hour, and then notice a decrease in my productivity. Instead of checking my phone or failing to engage with the content, I shift my focus to another project. Rather than drifting away from my task, I make a conscious decision to take a mental break from the project at hand. This shouldn’t feel forced, you are simply choosing something that you aren’t tired of working on. This will lower the “focus fatigue” on your first project and allow it to recover while still accomplishing something on your to-do list. Rather than working on economics, I will instead work on another school assignment or project. Procrastination drives productivity.
It is the active juggling of items that removes procrastination as a negative. Procrastination is just your mind telling you how to use your time efficiently.
We juggle this every day. I’ve learned a couple of steps that help me manage my procrastination:
- Identify Focus Fatigue – Be self-aware, understand when you are seeing diminishing output and low satisfaction.
- Find an Alternate Productive Activity – Assess what you would like to work on at this moment. Consider if this would still be productive.
Make the Decision – Making the decision will prevent you from floundering. Take action and benefit from it.
Prioritize – While this method is great, don’t use it when something needs to be completed and is urgent. Set a time limit on your side project.
Sometimes you will end up juggling four or more projects at a time, this is normal and acceptable. The goal is increasing productive uptime. Time, where you accomplish nothing, should ideally be removed almost entirely. Personally, this tool enables me to find more time in the day. It takes my attention from slacking to creating impact and content. A choice must be actively made, and I’ve given you the steps to help make it.
Don’t stop your procrastination. Get better at doing it.