“Why do now what I can put off until sometime later?”
One of my LEAST favorite things about myself … I tend to put things off. I don’t even like admitting it out loud, so I’ve been working to stop judging myself about it. (I don’t know if it’s going too well since I’ve STILL got the goal to stop procrastinating).
But then I started wondering, what if there’s something to learn about procrastination? What if it’s not all bad? Lots of my clients procrastinate because they’re perfectionists, if it can’t be perfect they won’t do it. Other reasons? The task sounds too hard, it’s overwhelming, they don’t know how to do it or start it, or completing it might cause conflict.
But what if there’s a gift in procrastination?
Being who I am, I had to start researching this idea and what’s behind it. And when I started diving deep, I found gold!
For example, there are scientific findings showing via PET and fMRI brain scans that our idea of “nothing” is quite literally “something” where we access our CREATIVE STATES when we’re at REST. In this case, REST means random episodic silent thought.
From Nancy C. Andreasen’s study: “Creativity is one of our most valued human traits. It has given human beings the ability to change the world that they live in; and it has also, paradoxically, given them the ability to adapt to changes in the world over which they have no control.”
Chronic procrastination is a habit affecting millions of people worldwide, estimated at 20% of the US population, but if there was a survey to fill out, it might still be uncompleted on people’s desks. Just saying, it’s possible the 20% number could be higher.
With that in mind, procrastinators, it’s time to embrace our inner creative chillaxer and master the art of doing nothing! That’s right, you heard me correctly, doing nothing can actually be a good thing for your productivity, stress levels, and overall well-being. So, grab a cup of coffee, kick back, and let’s dive into the keys to mastering the art of doing nothing.
What is procrastination?
It’s the act of putting off tasks or activities that need to be done in favor of doing something less important or less pressing. Or more interesting. While procrastination can be a source of stress and anxiety, it can also be an opportunity to master the art of being.
Key #1: Embrace the power of procrastination It’s time to break the stigma and embrace the power of procrastination. Taking breaks from work or other responsibilities can give your brain a much-needed rest, and improve your overall performance when you do return to your tasks. Own it. Relish it. Allow yourself to chill out.
Key #2: Why Procrastination is Good for You Contrary to popular belief, procrastination isn’t always a bad thing as you saw in the study above. In fact, there are many benefits to taking a break from work or other responsibilities.
For example, taking time to do nothing can give you a chance to recharge your batteries, refresh your mind, tap into your creative side, and improve your overall well-being. Think of it like recharging your batteries. It can also provide an opportunity to reflect on what you have accomplished and what you still need to do. Relax and reassess.
Key #3: Making the Most of Your Downtime The key to mastering the art of doing nothing is to make the most of your downtime. Whether you’re taking a break from work or other responsibilities, it’s important to enjoy it, and not let guilt or beating yourself up happen. Here are some tips for making the most of your downtime: Doodle, draw, write in your journal, or use a coloring book. Nap.
Read a book/play a game: A good story can transport you to another world and help you escape the stress of everyday life. Games can also be relaxing and stimulating. Get active: Whether it’s taking a walk, going for a run, or playing a sport, physical activity can help you relax and recharge.
Connect with others: this helps you build meaningful relationships and create positive memories. Pursue a hobby: Hobbies can help you develop new skills, explore your interests, and relieve stress. Watch an interesting show on TV.
Key #4: Tackling Tomorrow’s To-Do List Today The final idea is to tackle tomorrow’s to-do list today. While it may seem counterintuitive, taking time to plan and prioritize your tasks can help you be more productive in the long run by bringing these items OUT of your head. Some call this a “brain dump”.
Make a list: Write down all the tasks you need (or want) to complete. Break tasks into smaller parts: Pick the EASIEST things on your list first. Do 1-2 and build up dopamine and the more challenging things seem easier. Set soft deadlines.
Stay focused: Try the 25-minute trick – avoid distractions and stay focused on the task at hand for 25 minutes. Break. Then do more.
To sum it all up, procrastination is not always a bad thing. It might just be the brain break from all that pushing we each need to tap into our creative side so we can change the world!
Connect with Theresa: https://theresabyrne.taplink.ws/
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