Procrastination Is Good for You
Why You Shouldn't Beat Yourself Up Over It
Every one of us has experienced procrastination at some point. We’ve grown frustrated with ourselves and maybe even hated ourselves for not being more “productive”.
In this post, I will argue that procrastination is actually good for you and will teach you valuable lessons.
The Revenge of the Slave
Do you know how a slave can take revenge on his1 master?
Imagine a slave who is told to work. If he doesn’t, he will get the whip. The slave in that unfortunate and cruel situation, of course, despises his master. What does he do? He can’t say no for fear of lashes, so he does the only thing he can do: he obeys – slowly and incompetently.
That’s how many of us grew up: “Do this, do that, don’t to that! Stop crying. Stop, you’re going to hurt yourself. Stop running around and sit still!”
We were slaves.
So now, we take our revenge. However, since we internalized the voice of our parents, we take that revenge on ourselves in the form of procrastination.
What If You Were Completely Right?
What if you operated on the following principle: What I am doing right now is exactly what I should be doing right now.
Force is the antithesis of rationality and competence. If you want people to be kind, effective, productive, and happy, you let them be free. Otherwise, they will resist you in every way they can and often, that is with passive aggression.
I want to mention that some of the thoughts for this post came to me while eating a lot (healthily, luckily) and watching a series – while I was supposedly “procrastinating”. In that instance, watching the series was good because I enjoyed it and it boosted my creativity.
Why Are You Doing What You are Doing?
So, why force yourself? Rather, I would encourage you to be kind to yourself. Have some self-empathy and curiosity.
Ask yourself: Why am I doing what I am doing?
For example, having had an emotionally difficult childhood can lead to procrastinating by playing games and jerking off to porn. That is the result of a lower ability to solve emotional problems. With curiosity, one can solve that problem over time. In the end, one gains a heightened ability to solve problems.
No matter why you are procrastinating, I think with some curiosity you’ll find out very interesting things about yourself.
The combination of empathy and curiosity will lead to growth.
Focusing is a meditation technique I’ve recently discovered. I will write about it later and link to it from here.
You can use it to dig deeper: What are you feeling and why? Why are you resisting taking action?
Deeply meditate (i.e. take time to think and feel) on the internal conflicts that might be preventing you from doing what you set out to do.Note: This is a short post that may be expanded in the future. Please help improve it by leaving your thoughts in the comments.
- I use male pronouns because I’m a man. [return]