Procrastination is most commonly associated with negativity and weakness.
When we're unable to take action, we're stuck in limbo - a place where we're not going forward or backward, only stuck inside our heads.
Every time I've failed in business, my procrastination gets worse.
Thoughts about further failure take over my mind and I feel unworthy of reaching my goals.
Before launching my most recent business, Hawk Prospecting, I went through a series of failures that made every new business venture harder and harder.
The lead-up to Hawk Prospecting, although difficult, felt like the thing I was looking for all along.
Despite this feeling, it was still extremely challenging to launch the business - I had the weight of all my previous failures on my shoulders.
It made me feel weak, I blamed myself for not being able to go through with it.
What if we flip the narrative for a second?
What if, instead of seeing procrastination as a bad thing, we see it as an opportunity?
An opportunity that can save us from further failure.
What if procrastination wasn't all bad? In fact, it could be good in many cases.
In this article, I wanted to talk about 4 ways in which procrastination can be good for entrepreneurs.
The two procrastinators
Person A and person B were both set the same homework on a cold Friday evening.
The weather was dark and gloomy, making their procrastination only worse.
When person A got home, they sat down on their desk and started to think about the homework.
Person B also got home not long after, similarly, taking a seat on the couch and letting his mind roam free into the distance.
They were both thinking about the task they were set that Friday evening and wondering how they're going to get it done along with everything else they had going on.
Person A decided to use this procrastination as fuel to complete the other things on their to-do list.
They started to work through the list only to leave the homework for last.
Person B, on the other hand, was still on the couch, head in the clouds, waiting for a sign of hope to strike.
Whilst person A was getting his tasks done, person B was still overthinking the homework they had received.
See, person A and person B are both procrastinators.
However, they are two different forms of procrastinators.
Whilst person B is a passive procrastinator, just letting his thoughts take complete control of them leaving them in a state of inaction, person A was an active procrastinator.
Active procrastinators may still procrastinate on a certain task like everybody else.
However, instead of letting this one thought consume them, they focus on getting everything else done, leaving the initial task they were procrastinating about to the end.
So how can this form of 'passive procrastination' help you?
Outlines what's important
A lot of the things I tend to procrastinate on turn out to be things that do not mean a lot to me.
Don't get me wrong, I porcrastinate a lot when I'm working, but this is normal.
Many of the things I procrastinate about are things that I don't find important to me.
This, in my opinion, can be a good thing for entrepreneurs.
When you catch yourself procrastinating, you need to ask yourself if what you're procrastinating about is truly important to you, or if you're doing it for the right reason.
Many things I've quit in the past was due to a sudden realisation that this is something I shouldn't be doing.
For example, when I was procrastinating whilst gaming before becoming an entrepreneur, I quickly realised that I am not constantly gaming because I like it - I was doing it because it was the only coping mechanism I had.
Sometimes, when I struggle to wake up in the morning or when I struggle to get off YouTube to get to work, I ask myself - "Is what I'm about to go and do really what I want to do?"
"Is it really as important as I think it is?"
A lot of the time, the answer will be no.
From there, it's all up to you whether you use this as a chance to stop doing what it is that's not important to you or keep procrastinating.
There are many benefits that come with procrastinating.
When we really think about it, procrastinating is an adventure into the inside of our minds.
How easy it is to do this willingly? How easy is it to take a deep-dive into your mind whenever you feel like it?
It's almost impossible.
Procastination allows you to do this, however, it gets bad for you when you can't recognise it and snap out of it.
Make better decisions
One of my previous articles talsk about making the right decisions quickly.
As an entrepreneur, success is essentially a series of decisions.
Everything we do in our lives is a series of decisions - and that's the same with business.
Whether you succeed or fail, you are actively making the decision to do so.
When you fail at a business and give up, you've made the decision to fail forever.
However, if you get up and try again or take another shot at another business, you're making the decision to give success another chance to flourish.
Here's the issue.
Entrepreneurs live life at a thousand miles per hour.
Everything we do is very fast and there's always a lot going on in our minds.
Therefore, when it comes to making decisions, we usually make decisions based on speed, not logic.
When you're an overthinker or a procrastintor, making decisions can either be better or worse.
If you overthink a decision too much, you'll be stuck in a place where you question every possibility and maybe never pull the trigger.
However, there's also another side to this.
If you procrastinate a decision, you are giving yourself time to really reflect on what you feel is right.
The decision is always yours.
The more you think about it, the better your decision could be - however, thinking too much can stop you from making one altogether.
When you give yourself a little extra time to think through a decision, you can make better decisions because you have time.
You have time to think through the possiblities.
You have time to ask for advise.
What's important is making sure this time you take to think through your decision doesn't cripple you.
A lot of the time, you'll realise the right answer is always your initial answer, your initial choice.
Spend the extra time doing anything you need to do and get ready to pull the trigger.
Procrastination can give you a little breathing room to come to peace with the decision you're going to make.
When you make a decision, you'll never know what the other decision would have led to.
Accept this, and move on.
Leads to focus
There was research done that compared people when they had varying times to do a task.
When people have a lot of time to do the task, they tend to overthink and over-analyse everything before getting work done.
On the other hand, when people have too little time, they're scrambling to get things done - the task is never done to a high degree.
Neither end of the stick is preferable, however, it's a lot better when you have slightly less time than you need.
A lot of the time, when we have a ton of time on our hands, we think that we're in the safe zone.
Humans are terrible at predicting their potential - we simply don't know what we're really capable of.
When we give ourselves less time to do things, it increases our awareness and focus on the matter at hand.
I remember back in school when it was time for exams.
Every few days, the teacher would tell us we had X days left till the big exams.
At one point, it was 100+ days - my friends and I were laughing, telling each other how we've got a long time to fix our revision habits.
What felt like a few days later, the teaher told us we had 50 days left.
It started to slowly feel... real.
However, it still hadn't processed in our minds how serious this is all getting.
Not long later, we had 30 days left - it was all closing in.
We started to feel the pressure, there was not much time left for procrastination.
This is the period when my friends and I started to get a little more focused on the exams.
At this point, I had already accepted the fact that I did not enjoy what I was doing.
I did not enjoy school - this is what we spoke about in step 1.
However, I knew that it was important nonetheless.
With around 8 subjects to revise for and only 30 days to do it, we started to panic a little.
We started to dial in and get to work.
When time is of the essence, it pushes us harder and harder, increases our focus so that we can get the work done.
Combining the time pressure and clarity gained from procrastination, it becomes a lot easier to get real work done.
We managed to do a lot more work within that 30-day time frame than we could have forced ourselves to do during the 100 days prior.
Procrastination leads to laser-focus.
When you give yourself the right blend of time-pressure, you're able to get into a state of monastic focus.
Some of my biggest ideas have come from simply sitting with my own thought.
When we procrastinate, we give ourselves an opportunity to speak with ourselves.
We're able to talk to our thoughts and bounce ideas off them.
There have been many times where I'm laying in bed, wide awake, unable to sleep.
Suddenly, I am woken up by the lightbulb in my mind.
My latest, bright idea was to start a TikTok page.
You might already know how I feel about TikTok or social media in general.
A while ago, I uploaded a YouTube video which was a 'Watching TikTok until I Cringe' video.
It never lasted 5 minutes.
However, my bright idea was that I should take my articles on my blog and turn them into short TikTok videos.
It's an amazing idea because it will only help me help more entrepreneurs, spreading the truth and my own experience in business.
Condensr, one of the best ideas I've had which fell short due to my own short-comings, was born through my own procrastination.
One day, I was on my daily walks, listening to a podcast, letting my mind wander when I had this random thought.
"What if I could read a book in only 1 day?"
"That would mean I read 7X more books that the likes of Bill Gates!"
After some research and exploration, I realised that this is a big idea which was worth pursuing.
We all have big ideas and a bunch of creativity.
Different people get their creativity through different ways.
I, for one, get my most creative ideas when I'm not indulged in my daily agendas.
For example, after my most recent 4-day break, I started to go on my Playstation with friends after I finish work.
I've had a lot of time to think things through whilst on Playstation.
Another time is when I'm writing or walking.
These are prime times to trigger my creativity.
Finally, it's when I'm doing other things like having a shower, playing basketball, or even when I procrastinate.
It's amazing how beneficial procrastination can be when we use it to our advantage.
The issue lies not in procrastination itself, but in the fact that we let ourselves go when we procrastinate.
The first step to leveraging procrastination as a force for positivity is to know when you're doing it.
From there, you open the flood gates for many great things to happen.
Do you agree with this article?
Do you think procrastination is a good thing in some cases?
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