"A Procrastination Experiment"

Over the past week I have been conducting an experiment related to procrastination. I wanted to see what the negative effects were of waiting until the last minute to undertake a task and then having to rush to meet a deadline. Okay, so I actually wasn't conducting an experiment... I just procrastinated.

As I worked on the project I was reminded of all the things I knew about the benefits of NOT procrastinating:

  • Once you start working on it, the task doesn't seem as difficult
  • If you set aside an amount of time to work on it, you will normally keep working on it because you get momentum and don't want to stop.
  • When you keep putting off the task, thoughts about it hold your mind hostage and limit your ability to focus on other tasks.
  • Telling other trusted people that you need to work on the task will cause them to keep you on track to get it done.
  • Working under too much pressure can create a result that is "good enough" instead of "done well."
  • When you procrastinate and then have to give your full attention to the task at the last minute, you miss other opportunities that occur while you are "cramming." If you work on the task in a more timely manner, you can be more available for those events or activities that may need your attention.

The greatest benefit was the feeling I had once I got the project done! I felt better mentally, emotionally AND physically. Sadly, I could have had this sense of accomplishment days ago and used the energy to tackle other important tasks.

If you are one of those people who frequently procrastinate, you have my empathy. However, as I bask in this moment of accomplishment, you also have my condolences. The pressure, worry and missed opportunities created by frequent procrastination must be tough.