5 ways to use your powers of procrastination for good

Procrastination is one of, if not the most, iconic traits of being a human. You shouldn’t feel bad about it because everyone feels the urge to slack off and, inevitably, the work you are trying to avoid will get done so why not embrace your dithering and make the most of it?

In the immortal words of Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson: “I would work all night if it meant nothing got done”. And often procrastination coerces out that level of motivation from us. But what if we told you how you can use your gifts of putting work aside for the benefit of your overall happiness and productivity? Here’s how.

1. Write a stream of consciousness page of everything you should be doing

It sounds a tad redundant but by flexing your keyboard fingers and writing continuously about the mountain of work you should be doing, you might come up with some new ideas or a different angle of how to approach the task at hand. This exercise also stretches your creative writing muscle and ability to translate your inner thoughts onto paper (or screen) concisely.

2. Tidy your workspace

Clutter is bad for the working brain, especially on your desk. If you have 30 minutes spare and feel like doing everything but work, clear out your draws full of meal deal wrappers and work through the ever-growing stack of papers that flanks your mouse hand. You might find that once the debris has cleared from around your hands, you’ll feel a lot more motivated to crack on with your daily tasks with a clearer mind.

3. If you work from home, start on your house chores

This one is slightly more specific but if you’re a home worker, you’ll understand the struggle of having to deal with household upkeep as soon as you think the day is over. Do your washing while you update your desktop or cook your dinner in advance while you wait for a conference call to begin – there’s always something to be done around the house.

4. Reorganise your inbox

Don’t worry, we’re not actually asking you to read and reply to your emails. Stick some music on or flop in front of the TV and spend a little time setting up folders for the most important and least important of your correspondence. It requires minimal effort, you can do it almost subconsciously and it will make your work life a thousand times easier in the long run.

5. Figure out some future plans

Put some time aside once a day, when you’re feeling your least productive, and just think about the future. Whether you want to consider a career change or how you’re going to use your annual leave – these reflective periods can really pay off when it comes to organising your life on a bigger scale and there’s no better time to think about them than when you’re dreading having to start work.

Now what?