Master the Art of Structured Procrastination


There’s nothing that makes you feel like you’ve been productive than procrastinating. Some of the most successful people in the world have been procrastinators after all. It can be a comfort or feel like being stuck a rut, but either way, overplanning is often a trap for creatives. 

The problem with procrastination sometimes is it isn’t always a waste of time, but you need to know how to get the most out of it. Even though procrastinating can have a detrimental effect on productivity, it is possible to procrastinate constructively. Here are some tips on how to master the art of structured procrastination.

Write that list

Before you get distracted dreaming about traveling or googling random information trying to find out the Top countries for Beer Consumption, put together a list of the jobs that you have to do, in order of importance. If one job on your list doesn’t look like much fun, you can choose something else to do, but pick it from the list. At least you’ll be doing something that needs to be done, instead of getting completely distracted.

Reward yourself

Tick off the things you have done and plan to give yourself tiny rewards. Positive reinforcement will affect your productivity, even if it comes from you. You will feel automatically motivated to complete more tasks. 

Understand the difference

Even though you’ve put loads of effort into making that spreadsheet of your yearly budget and gone to town organizing your closet, it’s important to realize when it’s starting to delay you getting on with what you really need to do. The key is having the self-awareness to catch this tipping point when planning delays action

Don’t be hard on yourself

Getting angry or disappointed in yourself won’t help to motivate you. It’s better to take a beat and take the time to focus on self-care or wellbeing activities. Remember your health is the most important thing and putting endless pressure on yourself can be draining. 

Go off the grid

It is always a better idea to ditch your phone and social media for a while if you’re trying to focus. Mute notifications or if you have to, leave your phone in another room so you have the space to get on. It’s difficult to go off the grid for a while but sometimes it’s the best way to get back into your  headspace. 

End on a high note

One of the best ideas is to essentially quit while you’re ahead, at least for the day. If your creativity has been flourishing and you’ve managed to produce something you’re proud of, take a break. Don’t try to push yourself to do more. It’s much better to end on a high note and feel proud of what you’ve done for the day. 

There’s a certain degree of creativity that comes with structured procrastination. You can’t always force your ideas. It’s important to focus on what needs to be done and you’ll get there eventually.