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Pros of procrastination or when procrastination is beneficial

Procrastination – putting off important and urgent matters, replacing them with something insignificant, but pleasant or very significant, but not urgent. It is she who is considered the worst enemy of productivity. Just imagine: you need to send a letter to a business partner, but you are sitting on social networks and see photos of a former neighbor. Or you need to urgently agree with suppliers, and you read the article on logistics, justifying yourself by the importance of self-education. As a result, the work is worth it, the deadline is approaching, and you are tormented by guilty feelings for the time spent.

But it turns out that this coin has another side: often procrastination benefits you and opens the door to success. To see its advantages, let’s see why people tend to put things off? According to J. Ferrari of Carleton University, as many as 20% of the world’s inhabitants are distracted by extraneous problems so as not to solve the important tasks they are facing right now. Agree, from the point of view of evolution, this looks strange: after all, every living organism should strive for its own benefit and well-being. And putting off pressing matters is far from always profitable.

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So why are we procrastinating?
The reason for procrastination is of interest to many. Some blame her for her lack of willpower and violation of self-control. Others see laziness and inability to manage time as the main reason. In fact, procrastination is, first and foremost, a way to avoid stress. Timothy Pichil, author of Do Not Put Off For Tomorrow and a professor at Carleton University, says that if the work causes fear or anxiety, then you will definitely find a reason to postpone it. The ancient part of the brain prefers to relax and indulge in pleasures, even if in the future it will lead to trouble.

According to psychologists, procrastination is also characteristic of people who put instant pleasure above long-term goals. They enjoy every moment of life, not trying to find pleasure in solving important problems, but creating it from scratch. For example, in the heat they go to the beach instead of working under air conditioning.

Timothy Pichil identifies another reason for the postponement of affairs – this is the gap between the idea of ​​oneself, the present and the future. You exist in the present tense and do not want to work, and the problems of that tomorrow’s guy are of little concern to you so far. It’s hard to argue with this – indeed, the desire to watch a new video on YouTube right now causes more emotions than unpaid utilities in a month.

By and large, procrastination occurs when the irrational ancient brain defeats the rational part of the cerebral cortex. Those who dominate the rational zone become workaholics. And only rare lucky people live in harmony, doing the right thing in time and indulging in relaxation.

However, it is precisely in the stress of approaching the deadline that the evolutionary benefits of procrastination are hidden. Let’s see how the ancient people lived: when everything is calm and there is food, you can sleep or draw cave paintings. Mammoth is over or has the enemy come? It’s time to do business: look for food or run away. In modern people, this reflex also works. So, some procrastinators are able at the last moment to get together and immediately solve 20 important cases in an hour, paying only for a headache.

Stress before the deadline can be called the first plus postponement of affairs. Often it becomes an effective motivation for solving a problem. According to time manager Steve McCletchy, fear gives you the necessary energy – it was precisely it that was missing before, when there was a lot of time, and you were distracted by other things. In addition, the horror of the deadline makes you concentrate on the job, do it better and faster than in the usual state.

Fear provides a huge flow of energy that can be used to solve the most complex tasks.
Fear provides a huge flow of energy that can be used to solve the most complex tasks.
Procrastination also has other benefits. After all, it does not always lead to stress, and sometimes, on the contrary, helps to avoid it.

What is more useful procrastination?
It enhances creativity. The advertiser Shugerman in the book “The Art of Creating Advertising Messages” offers the following method of “birth” of great ideas – you need to think a little about the question, and then put things aside and do something pleasant. He called this technique an “incubation process” that allows the idea to mature. Such a paradox – putting off a task sometimes helps to find its best solution. This fact confirms not only the experience of Shugerman, but also scientific research. Jayi Shin, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, asked people to come up with new creative ideas. Some of them shared their thoughts immediately after coming. And the second group at first put solitaire on the computer – their ideas were 28% more creative.
Allows you to solve complex problems. Psychologist Zeigarnik discovered 100 years ago that people remember the unfinished task, since it remains in the subconscious.

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