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  • Writer's pictureYoram Solomon, PhD

Start Procrastinating Today!

Updated: 12 hours ago

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Procrastination is often viewed negatively in our fast-paced world. It's commonly associated with laziness, poor time management, and missed opportunities. However, this one-sided perception overlooks the complex relationship between delay and productivity, and how this can vary from person to person.

 

The Case Against Procrastination

The traditional argument against procrastination focuses on its direct impact on workflow and stress levels. As deadlines approach, the procrastinator may find themselves scrambling for information and resources, which can no longer be obtained in time. This crunch time often leads to stress, which not everyone can handle efficiently. Furthermore, waiting until the last minute can sometimes mean missing opportunities altogether when unexpected changes disrupt the procrastinator's plans. The consequences of missed deadlines are not just about failing to complete tasks; they can lead to broader impacts on one's professional reputation and personal stress levels.

 

A Different View: The Benefits of Procrastination

Contrary to popular belief, procrastination can also serve as a beneficial strategy under the right circumstances. Delaying action allows for more information to be gathered and ideas to incubate, potentially leading to better decision-making and more innovative solutions. Some individuals thrive under the pressure of imminent deadlines, finding that their productivity and creativity peak during these high-stakes times. For tasks that are not yet fully defined or for projects that might change scope, procrastinating can actually prevent wasted effort.

 

The Role of Trust in Procrastination

The intersection of procrastination and trust introduces an intriguing layer to the debate. Individuals tend to trust those who share similar work habits. Procrastinators might find a kindred spirit in others who delay, trusting in their process and understanding their workflow. Conversely, those who prefer to complete tasks immediately may find it difficult to trust a procrastinator's process, fearing it jeopardizes their own standards and timelines. This disparity can lead to tension unless there is clear communication and mutual understanding between differing work styles.

 

Strategic Procrastination: Planning to Delay

Procrastination does not always have to be a passive act of delay. It can be a strategic choice, provided it is managed carefully. Individuals who choose to procrastinate can benefit from setting clear personal guidelines about when and how to delay tasks. By assessing the necessity of information, the potential for changes, and the likelihood of emergencies, one can gauge the best time to act. Strategic procrastinators often do preliminary work to set the stage for efficient execution closer to the deadline, ensuring they are prepared even as they wait for the optimal time to finalize their tasks.

 

Conclusion: Procrastination as a Personalized Tool

Ultimately, whether procrastination is helpful or harmful depends on the individual's context and personality. It is neither inherently good nor bad but is a tool that can be misused or leveraged effectively. Understanding one's personal response to deadlines and stress is crucial in deciding how to approach tasks. Just as importantly, fostering an environment where different approaches to work are respected and understood can enhance both trust and productivity within a team.

 

In summary, the conventional wisdom that views procrastination solely as a negative behavior needs reevaluation. Recognizing the nuanced roles procrastination can play in personal and professional settings opens the door to more flexible, and perhaps more successful, ways of working.

 

 
Dr. Yoram Solomon

Dr. Yoram Solomon is an expert in trust, employee engagement, teamwork, organizational culture, and leadership. He is the author of The Book of Trust, host of The Trust Show podcast, a three-time TEDx speaker, and facilitator of the Trust Habits workshop and masterclass that explains what trust is and how to build trust in organizations. He is a frequent speaker at SHRM events and a contributor to HR.com magazine.

 

The Book of Trust®, The Innovation Culture Institute®, and Trust Habits® are registered trademarks of Yoram Solomon. Trust Premium™, the Relative Trust Inventory™, and The Trust Show™ are trademarks of Yoram Solomon.

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