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Why Procrastination Isn’t So Bad

Later Now Buttons Show Wasting Time Or ProcastinationProcrastination gets a bad wrap. It often implies laziness or lack of motivation, and perhaps the negative reputation stems from that. But procrastination can also be beneficial for some people and in certain circumstances. Procrastination can boost our creativity, reveal our true passions, and relieve stress. Sometimes putting things off is actually better in the long run.

Procrastination helps you focus

When you’re up against a deadline, you focus on the work at hand. It’s easy to get distracted by social media, online shopping, kids screaming at you, you name it. When you have more time to finish a project you might more easily let your mind wander and drift from the task at hand, but having something that must be done by tomorrow helps you to drown out other distractions and really focus on what you need to do to get it done.

Procrastination reveals what you really want to do

There are some tasks we have to get done and perhaps those are the ones you are always procrastinating. Look at the activities where you procrastinate. If it’s something that isn’t a necessity, why do you continue to do it? We rarely put off doing the things we truly love, so procrastination can help shed light on your true feelings and passions. Maybe procrastination is your subconscious trying to tell you something. If it’s always a struggle to complete something, think about whether it’s something you should continue to be doing.

Procrastination can produce better results

If you are working on a task, and forcing it, your best work isn’t likely to come out of it. But if you have to stop and focus for a few hours on the looming deadline, you will put all your energy into it and can produce something wonderful. Since you aren’t letting your mind wander to other ideas or tasks your brain power is focused and more productive.

Procrastination can make you think more clearly

Sometimes we force ourselves to sit down and focus on what needs to be done, but the ideas just aren’t there. If we put it off and work on other tasks, our brains are often still subconsciously thinking about how to solve the problem. You may get a new thought or idea while you’re working on something completely unrelated. When the time comes for you to go back to the delayed task, you might have a new, helpful outlook on how to approach it.

Procrastination helps us process and heal

Procrastinating isn’t always related to jobs and tasks. Sometimes we need to have a tough conversation with someone and we continue to put it off. Waiting can give your mind time to heal and process strong emotions. It can also give you time to think through what you’d like to say, instead of saying things you might later regret. The delay can give both parties a chance to reflect and hopefully have a better conversation.

Procrastination isn’t always a bad thing and can even be beneficial. When you procrastinate your mind may need more time to stew on the task, situation, or conversation that needs to be had. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a task, work on something else, and come back to it later. When we force ourselves into doing things when we are not ready, it doesn’t help produce our best results anyway. So next time you feel a bout of procrastination coming on, embrace it and see what you can learn from it.

Why Procrastination Isn’t So Bad


Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC

Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching and writes a blog about the issues facing men (and the women who love them). As an expert in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today, he regularly appears on The Huffington Post, NerdWallet and PsychCentral. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their lives and relationships better. Check out his weekly tips on Facebook or Twitter.


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APA Reference
Smith, K. (2018). Why Procrastination Isn’t So Bad. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 8, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-procrastination-isnt-so-bad/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 15 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.