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4 Times Procrastination is a Good Idea

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In today's go-go-go environment, everything seems to be an emergency. We convince ourselves that every task is a high priority and that procrastination is a dirty word. When we succumb to this mentality, what can result is an oversight of errors, a subpar quality of work and the desire to just cross items off the ever-growing To-Do List.

It's important to slow down, step back and evaluate. Sometimes you need to set projects aside so the end result can be better than had you rushed through it. Here are four times when it is in your best interest to procrastinate.

  1. Low spot on the totem pole. If there are other matters or projects that have strict deadlines, are important to your boss and cannot wait another day, then it's okay to give your task-at-hand a pat on the back and say, "You'll be just fine waiting here while I tend to the higher totems on the pole. I promise I'll come back and give you the attention you deserve."
  2. You're upset about something. Never go to sleep angry and never complete a task angry. My dad always said, "You're more likely to get the outcome you want if you're friendly, not angry." This same rule applies to the quality of your work. Your mind will not be clear and focused if you're too busy cursing your Internet provider for your Internet being down or shredding your child's enormous cell phone bill. Walk away from the task at hand, handle whatever is upsetting you, and then when your blood pressure has returned to normal, conquer that task with a clear head.
  3. Inspiration is lacking. If inspiration hasn't come up to bat and motivation is a benchwarmer, then walking away from a project can be a good idea. It's amazing how many good ideas you can find way out in left field. If you allow yourself to think about other things instead of the task at hand, your brain won't feel so pressured to complete a project right now just so you can mark it off your To-Do list. Instead, it can take its time coming up with the right way to complete the project.
  4. Your brain needs a break. If you have reached the point of mental exhaustion and you have no desire to think about anything, let alone complete a project, then your brain is telling you, "Back off." You can always try to recharge, but if that doesn't work, give your brain what it needs—a mini mental vacation free of responsibility. You'll be better equipped to tackle that task later if your brain isn't gasping for air.

Don't let the quality of your work suffer because of today's go-go-go mentality. Be Pro-Quality all the time and be Pro-Procrastination when the time is right.

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