How To Procrastinate Productively: The Ultimate 11-Step Guide

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to procrastinate productively.

Procrastination is the practice of putting off important responsibilities in favor of less important, monotonous, or unpleasant activities. Procrastination is often seen as ineffective, and many professionals, supervisors, and managers emphasize that it delays the inevitable and makes it difficult to complete a task.

Have you considered the benefits of procrastination? As you will discover as you learn how to master the art of procrastination, there are some excellent reasons to procrastinate, for the greater good, of course!

Although our intuition may be wrong, doesn’t our heart tell us that something so natural and common in humanity could not exist without benefit? 

How To Procrastinate Productively:

1. Consider why procrastination is a desirable thing in your daily routine.

According to time management experts (and a good portion of today’s bloggers), arguing that allowing procrastination to permeate your life leads to the inevitable nail-biting, hair-ripping, and failure to do your best work, all of which leads to poorly done last-minute work.

The opponents of procrastination will be quick to admonish you, warning you of the risks of failure. Think about the benefits of procrastination rather than the apparent “problem.”

You may have some ideas. The procrastinator can let the ideas mature, grow, and surface in a much more creative and exciting form rather than throwing themselves into the work and systematically completing the task!

You can both prevent problems and cause them. Jumping right into action and doing something without thinking through the consequences or identifying the drawbacks can cause additional complications and delays in the task. Procrastination can give you the mental space needed to think about what can go wrong and how to avoid it.

On the other hand, procrastination can bring to light all the things that never really needed to be done. Think about how many times you were glad you didn’t take on that task when you were asked to, and that it saved you a lot of trouble because either someone else did it or it turned out that doing it wasn’t a good idea anyway.

When you are not ready to take on something, you can use procrastination to protect yourself. Procrastination can keep you from taking risks if you lack the skills, courage, or experience, or are unable or uncomfortable.

Procrastination can lead you to accept an unpleasant concept or job. If we put it off because we don’t like it or don’t want to be associated with it, procrastination can give us the time we need to get used to it and eventually reach a state of acceptance that allows us to get on with our lives without feeling disinterested or even hostile about being involved in an issue.

Procrastination can give you the time you need to gather the energy you will need when you finally take action.

Doing something practical (with your hands) is often a much-needed respite from deeply intellectualizing things for people whose work is primarily mental.

When avoiding putting off work, think about all the other things that are being done at the same time!

2. Pay attention to procrastination.

Procrastination, like any other attitude that affects task completion, has its own causes. In addition to the causes mentioned in the previous step, learning to listen to your procrastination can be a way to listen to your inner feelings when you would rather put off that difficult activity. Could it be that your procrastination is trying to tell you something?

What you are doing is very burdensome, and even if you have to do it, are there other ways to do it? Ways that have nothing to do with you or that you can accomplish on your own?

What you are doing is not your forte or even your passion. Maybe you’re studying the wrong field because your parents wanted you to be a doctor or lawyer, and you actually wanted to be an artist. Maybe you’re doing the wrong job because you liked the company before you joined and realized what you were getting yourself into.

What you’re doing is full of inconsistencies, flaws, glitches, and glaring inaccuracies, but it would take a lot of time and effort to fix, let alone explain it to your boss, and you know it’s beyond your ability to fix.

Because you have advanced cognitively and professionally and are ready for new challenges, what you do is no longer your strength.

What you are doing is objectively meaningless, and there are probably many better ways to spend your time and energy. Now you just need to figure out how to explain it to your employer, lecturer, or client.

3. Think about how important deadlines are to you.

Procrastination is driven by deadlines. Although deadlines are often portrayed in terms of self-discipline and personal guilt for failing to meet them, they are less about virtuous behavior and more about compliant behavior. 

On the other hand, deadlines bring out the best in some people, triggering the adrenaline rush needed to dig deep and summon the inner genius that does a perfect job at the last minute. And if you have a boring or ordinary job, a deadline may be the only thing that motivates you to do it. 

Recognizing how you value deadlines and how you handle them is an important aspect of delaying in a way that benefits your long-term goals, efforts, and opportunities. If deadlines are viewed positively as a source of ultimate drive and a way to spark creativity, they can be a procrastinator’s buddy.

Work out your ideal balance between meeting deadlines and completing tasks efficiently. Once you’ve established your ultimate terms, combine deadlines and procrastination to your advantage.

SEE ALSO: How To Detox Your Mind From Negativity: 16 Ways to Try

4. Calm down.

Procrastination can be seen as a way to slow down the fast pace of life that is out of control or the pace of work. It can lead us to think more and do less, something that is sorely lacking in our hectic, schedule-filled lives.

Stop appreciating those who are always on the go. They may give the impression that they are doing something when, in reality, nothing is happening. At least something is happening while you’re running late!

Find time to reflect (1). Allow yourself this time to think about ideas, repercussions, and the bigger picture.

Enjoy the journey rather than the destination. By procrastinating, you can immerse yourself in the process. Some of it is boring, some of it is difficult, and some of it is quite enjoyable, but it all adds up. Procrastination is like a thread that runs through the process, keeping it moving toward an inevitable conclusion but allowing you to go with the flow and enjoy life along the way.

Accept your scattered thoughts as they are, and let go of guilt.

Recognize that when you return to work, a renewed person works twice as hard and is twice as focused. Holding down a job without a break means you lose sight of the forest and the trees, and your excitement and motivation diminish.

It’s okay if others criticize your procrastination during your mindfulness period. Tell them that procrastination has become a mandatory activity in the lives of today’s successful people, and watch their faces light up with surprise.

5. Don’t spend too much time thinking about the future.

While a little thinking about the future is a normal part of a healthy life, worrying about where we want to be in 5, 10, and 15 years can lead to job burnout and put us on a narrow path of always focusing on the future, on who we want to become, instead of appreciating who we are now. 

Procrastination requires living in the moment, in the present, and not letting events such as graduation, job loss, homelessness, or financial problems cloud your judgment. Excessive worrying doesn’t change anything, but it can put you in a fear loop that will tie you to worse job and lifestyle choices for the rest of your life because you are terrified of the repercussions of abandoning those initially worse decisions.

6. Value leisure time and work time equally.

For a true procrastinator, both a video game and a master’s thesis or a work report have equal value. It’s a balance in action, and valuing both equally shows that your priorities are balanced between work and play, not just work and lack of enjoyment.

Procrastination should be balanced with responsibility. You can’t always go full throttle in life. Let’s allow distractions into our lives and not allow them to become a source of shame or worry.

7. Find methods to avoid doing anything.

You don’t need to be told how to procrastinate, but knowing that you are not alone in engaging in the numerous and humongous procrastination activities listed in the steps below (and feel free to engage in any of them) can be soothing to you.

SEE ALSO: How To Form a Good Habit That Will Last: 12-Step Guide

8. Be imaginative.

Even something as simple as watching your coworkers walk around their office rooms can grab your attention for hours. You can even draw a picture in your notebook.

Role-play a movie. Recall the lines of your favorite actors and present them in front of a mirror. If you can do this for a good half hour, you will have wasted a good half hour of your time.

Consider looking out the window. Watch the cars, count the cab arrival times, observe how crowded the street is, calculate how many people are currently on the sidewalks.

Make your own Youtube playlist.

9. If you insist on watching television, make sure you watch it all.

Procrastination has the advantage of creating interest where there was none before. For example, a cooking station becomes the late-night equivalent of Cinemax; or trying to understand what’s being said on a Spanish channel.

I’ve always preferred movies to TV shows. TV shows don’t last more than an hour and a half (some specials, especially some reality shows, sports shows, and shows on the History Channel, last two hours). Every time the show ends, you have to choose between working and watching TV. If you have to make this choice twice in an hour, you will eventually break even.

Movies, on the other hand, are at least two hours long, and since most stations air three movies at a time, you are left with only three choices between work and TV in six hours!

Antonio Banderas, Daniel Craig, and Tom Cruise are Antonio’s idols. These three guys are a procrastinator’s dream because their movies: a) are constantly on TV, at all hours of the day and night; b) tell stories that center around kicks and powerful explosions, allowing the mind to relax without having to deal with a complicated story; and c) never mention work.

Antonio Banderas, for example, never saw boxing until he murdered someone or blew it up. If you don’t like action movies, romantic comedies are a good option because they are all the same and induce the same drowsiness of mind.

10. Use the computer as a weapon.

If you see a pop-up asking you to shoot, poke, push, blast with a laser, punch, kick, or put an object into anything, quit immediately. Not only can you win amazing free goods and spam, but you can play these games endlessly. You can also waste time by visiting fun websites. With these, you can read or write whatever you want, whenever you want.

Be sure to follow all the links you come across. This will give you access to fresh and exciting knowledge that your mind will absorb instead of work, which will immediately remove all work-related thoughts.

After following the previous instructions, you can prolong the procrastination period by cleaning your computer of spyware, trojans, and viruses. This may take a long time. Have fun!

While reading the posts, go to your favorite forum at least once every half hour and refresh the page every two seconds to check for new replies. This should keep you busy for a while and prevent you from doing any serious work. 

Browse Perfect24Hours or Wikipedia (2). For starters, click the blue links on a random page (there are lots of them in this article). Not only will you be productively procrastinating, but you’ll also learn new things!

11. Don’t worry about it.

If you spend all your time thinking about the task at hand, you are not getting pleasure from procrastination, and you are missing the goal of positively incorporating procrastination into your life. Allow your mind to relax, let go of anxiety, and focus on appreciating other activities. Work can be as serious as you want it to be. Procrastination allows you to appreciate the small pleasures in life that you might otherwise overlook.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to procrastinate productively. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here