There seems to be a right way to procrastinate, and we’ve been doing it wrong. Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and co-host of the radio show “The Web,” told The Huffington Post that procrastination itself can be used as a tool toward getting something done.
So that 45 minutes we just lost watching puppy videos on YouTube can actually be good for something? Well, not exactly.
The key to using procrastination wisely, according to Klapow, is to take an active approach instead of a passive one.
He suggests using what he calls “planned procrastination.”Ask yourself why you need to delay taking action on something. Ummm, paying that bill freaks you out? You don’t want to take your car in for maintenance because how will you get around? You’re not 100% sure that article you pitched is actually going to be any good?
Knowing the root cause of your procrastination can help you overcome it. Klapow suggests scheduling a day and time to tackle the looming task. By infusing your procrastination with intention, you’re consciously deciding how to spend your time. Bam! Procrastination no longer has power over you.
“If you plan your procrastination with an honest understanding of why you are delaying [your task] and a realistic, exact day and time allocation [for completing it], then you can simply enjoy the time off you give yourself in the delay,” Klapow said.
He advises to do something creative within that time off.Research shows that creative expression can generate wellness, quietness, and stimulate brain activity.
“Maybe it’s arranging some flowers from your garden, maybe it’s doodling on a notepad, or maybe it’s writing a few sentences down,” he explained.
In this way, though you might be procrastinating, you’re also feeding your brain and renewing your energy. And you’ll just feel better.
Then maybe those bills or that car maintenance or that writing deadline won’t feel so scary after all.