4 Reasons Why Procrastination Is A Valuable Tool

by Brianna Wiest

Almost everywhere you turn on the Internet, you're bombarded with "productivity hacks." It seems as though we've confused "doing a lot" for "doing something that matters," and it's easy to see why that's the case. I'm not sure what about procrastination freaks people out the most, but in all honesty, it's not always a bad thing. Let me be clear: the cause of procrastination isn't... good. It's usually the result of not really being at ease with yourself (sorry to make matters worse if that's news to you). Most work requires a certain level of relaxation and "flow," (despite how people tell you that you need to be amped up and wired to get anything done). If you're unable to relax, you're actually unable to focus on the task at hand.

Yet, that doesn't make it a bad thing altogether. In fact, many times (... most times) procrastination serves a really important purpose. Sometimes you have to take a break from writing to skim a magazine laying on the coffee table next to you and find your next bit of inspiration. Sometimes you have to take a break and give yourself a chance to recoup and recharge. Sometimes you have to accept that whatever you're trying to do doesn't come naturally, and make decisions from there. The point is that procrastination can serve you more than it disables you, if only you try to approach it with that kind of attitude. Here, all the ways procrastination may be the most important tool you have (and why it's not really a bad thing after all).

Your Body Nor Your Mind Were Designed To Perform Robotically

The unspoken frustration with procrastination is the expectation that we should be able to sit down, focus, and complete any given task that's in front of us. Especially if it's important or tied to a paycheck or time-sensitive. This, of course, is not the case, and never has been. Your body wasn't designed to perform robotically (you get tired, need to rest, etc.), and your mind was not either. A lot of procrastination is just the realization that your mind doesn't want or need to be focused or productive all of the time.

If You're Unable To Relax, You Won't Be Able To Focus On The Task At Hand

Often, we need procrastination to help us relax, and we begin procrastinating when we are (often unconsciously) not at ease with ourselves or with a situation going on in our lives. If it's bothering us to the point that we can't function normally (too tired, worried about an important email, and so on) sometimes it's important to go home, get rest, or otherwise handle the situation that you so clearly want to resolve (if only you'd give yourself permission!).

It's How You Find Inspiration

When we procrastinate, we actively engage our minds with anything other than what we're "supposed" to be doing. (I use that word suggestively because it's usually more an illusion that it is a factual representation of what's required of us.) Anyway: when we step away from our work to watch a show or take a nap or just scroll mindless on the Internet, what we aren't realizing is that we're giving ourselves something else: an outlet to find new inspiration.

Focusing On "Productivity" Does Not Cure Procrastination

Trying to focus harder or regiment ourselves even more does not make us productive. Trying to care for ourselves, get enough rest, take breaks when we need it, and find a sense of peace and acceptance for what we do and how often — that does. Because when we are stressed and overworked and self-punishing for not focusing more, we're only going to be more inclined to rebel and focus less. When we're in a place that's self-loving and relaxed, we can do what we came here to do.

Images: Giphy (4); Pexels