Nothing is absolute in this world — procrastination included. Procrastination has always been perceived as something negative, something detrimental in our life that we should avoid at all cost. But did you know that we can procrastinate productively? Here is how:
Notice that when we procrastinate or keep on putting off what we are supposed to do, we do it instinctively. And this becomes a problem. However, if only we would try to analyze the root cause of our procrastination, we can turn it into a tool instead of a problem. When we put off doing something, we have a reason, or reasons why we do so. Correcting or resolving this reason, we can avoid procrastinating.
This is similar to having an elevated blood pressure. We immediately take our medication that lowers our blood pressure. By doing so, we mask the symptom (increase in blood pressure is actually just a symptom of something wrong in us), and not the cause of the elevated blood pressure, Hence, the incidence of increased blood pressure keeps on coming back. This is what we are actually doing when we hesitate doing something. We just try to mask the reason for our disease — procrastination. We do not cure its root cause.
For instance, if we keep on putting off our visit to the dentist, there must be a reason why we do so. Is it fear of pain? Is it the cost of the dental procedure? Is it genuinely lack of time? If we know the real reason for our procrastination, we can deal with it directly, resolve the issue, and proceed to doing what we are trying to avoid. We can do any of the following regarding our problem with our dentist:
- If the cause is fear, we can have a heart-to-heart talk with our dentist to allay our fear; or we ask a trusted friend or family member to accompany us for moral support.
- If it is financial reason, we can arrange for differed payment scheme; take our time to save for the charges; or arrange with our health insurance company.
- If we really lack the time to visit our dentist, we can set a definite schedule after other more important matters are attended to.
By knowing the root cause of our procrastination, we can do something productive about it instead of putting it off indefinitely.
We can apply these steps in all circumstances that we tend to put off. Anyway, we can never be put at ease when we know that there is something we have to do, now or at a later time — we just cannot make it evaporate in thin air, especially when it is something important.
So you see, procrastination is not really that bad. It can help us to be more ingenious in searching for solutions or alternative options, teach us to manage our time effectively, and set our priorities right.