Why Procrastination May Be Good For Productivity

If you're like many sales professionals, you probably find it easier to procrastinate when you work from home. When you're in the office, you're surrounded by your colleagues, you're sitting in meetings and you're driving to see your clients. But when you're at home, you may not feel immediately compelled to jump into work. There's laundry to be folded, dinner to be made and dogs to be walked. There always seems to be a relevant reason to procrastinate.

Everyone procrastinates sometimes. But here's the good news: It's not always bad. In fact, Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of EmailAnalytics, says that procrastination can actually be good for productivity.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss DeMers' thoughts on procrastination and how you can use it to your advantage.

Know the difference between active and passive procrastination. The next time you put something off, consider what kind of procrastination it is. DeMers says there are two main types of procrastination: active and passive.

He says passive, the most common kind of procrastination, is when you avoid or delay a task in favor of doing something else. You may, for example, browse your social media feeds instead of getting down to work. In active procrastination, you avoid or delay a task by moving on to a different task. This isn't always so bad when you procrastinate with productive work. You're simply reordering when you perform your tasks instead of reducing the work and assignments you get done on a given day or week.

Procrastination helps you work at your best. People are most efficient at different times during the day. Some are most creative in the morning while others perform their best at night. DeMers says you can boost your productivity when you delay a task not because you're wasting time but because you know you can complete it more efficiently by delaying it.
Consider, for example, if you schedule a Zoom call but the whole sales team isn't available. If you need everyone to collaborate on a certain project but the whole team isn't there, it's best to delay until everyone can be together. By procrastinating in this way, DeMers say you can get the task done in fewer hours with better overall quality.

Procrastination allows you to prioritize what's important. Sometimes, procrastinating can shed light on your real priorities. For example, did your boss ask for a detailed report but then never mentions it again? By putting it off, you may realize that the task wasn't so urgent. DeMers notes that you must be careful with this angle, but it could give you a new perspective on the truly pressing projects within your team.

DeMers also recommends questioning why you find yourself procrastinating on something. Is the project out of your normal scope of work? If so, do you have the tools and resources to complete it? Do you feel like the project you keep putting off isn't important? Maybe there's a way to avoid it entirely.

Procrastination enables you to process your emotions. Have you ever typed out an angry email response, hit "send," and immediately regretted the decision? By procrastinating on sending a harsh response, you give yourself time to let your emotions even out. Even if you're afraid of something, DeMers notes that you'll likely be less fearful after you have had some time to process it. When emotions are involved, waiting is usually the way to go.

When you procrastinate, you're not always wasting time. The key is to understand why you're delaying something. Could you perform the task better at a different time? Is the task something that truly must be done—and by you? Are you feeling angry or upset about something? Procrastination is good in the right situations. Take some time to understand the reason why you're procrastinating to make it work for you.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jayson DeMers is the founder and CEO of EmailAnalytics. He also co-hosts the podcast "The Entrepreneur Cast."

filed under May 2020
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