This morning’s Bloganuary prompt is an interesting one. Most people are likely inclined to only view procrastination as a negative thing, yet the prompt asks for both the pros and cons. It kind of forces one to think outside the box—beyond standard societal norms and expectations. I like that.
I’m not sure there is much to say about the cons. The negative connotations of procrastination are universally known and accepted: increased stress, feeling overwhelmed, subpar final work product, increased risk of errors, etc.
The pros though, I feel like that would vary greatly from one person to the next. Some people seem to do their best work when under the wire.
That was definitely true for me when I was much younger. Putting things off — projects or papers and such — inspired a weird sort of adrenaline rush and intense “last minute” flavor of focus that often resulted in some of my best work. I found that sometimes spending too much time ruminating and researching muddied the waters and left me swimming in a sea of information much too wide and vast to navigate successfully. I’d get lost. I’d lose sight of what I was trying to do or say, start panicking, and eventually break down. I found that to be much more overwhelming than procrastination itself.
I often feel like I’m being much more efficient when I procrastinate on things. It sort of helps with sorting and prioritizing of tasks and even with getting into the practice of quick thinking creative solutions to various situations that crop up.
Whether procrastinating is a pro or a con can also depend a lot of the type of project, task, or situation. I wouldn’t want to put off responding to something like a jury duty call notice because the risk of forgetting or overlooking it is too great. But I would definitely put off getting started on something that’s not at all urgent and doesn’t risk fines or jail time! I guess that’s part of where the prioritization and time management of procrastination comes into play, both of which can actually be pros of procrastination.
In the end, I think we all just find what works best for us relative to our perceived and/or realized strengths and weaknesses. For some, that’s lots of advance planning and scheduling and working toward goals at steady, even paces. For others, it’s lots of last minute hustling and shuffling while flying by the seat of their pants. And for most, it’s some combination of the two.
The most important thing, in my opinion, is finding the methods of madness that work best for you and flowing with it. 🙃