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How to Procrastinate Productively

by Louise W. Rice

The bad news is that people are programmed to procrastinate. Your reserves of willpower are limited and deplete over time, no matter what you do. If you’re constantly checking social media, watching soap operas, or just idling away, it just means you’re human. Procrastination is inevitable.

The good news is that you can benefit from procrastination: recharge your energy, restore your confidence and find new ideas. And so that good procrastination does not smoothly turn into laziness and apathy, enroll in the online program “Best Time Management Techniques” and master the most effective methods by which you will have time for everything and even more.

This article will tell you what factors influence procrastination and what you need to do to make it work for you. These tips will also provide college paper help, as procrastination is one of the critical problems in writing these papers.

1. You don’t know where to start

The difference between a productive break and meaningless procrastination is simple – in the first case, you know what you’re going to do next. The lack of a plan makes you anxious. It makes you procrastinate even more. Instead, write a program to turn downtime into a valuable break for productivity.

Before you switch to “time-wasters,” think about what you will do next. Make a list of precise, measurable goals and specify a specific time for each task. Consider potential complications: lousy Internet connection, an urgent assignment from the boss, traffic in town, etc.

Once you plan your tasks, you’ll feel more relaxed and be able to procrastinate without stress or anxiety.

2. You don’t understand how to tackle a task

The deadline is in two days, and you’re still staring blankly at a white sheet in Google Docs. And the longer you do it, the fewer ideas come to you, and the more procrastination consumes you. You already have a plan, but you don’t know exactly what to do.

Well, make yourself a cup of coffee and try these idea generation techniques in between:

Doodle. Remember doodling in your notebook during boring classes? It turns out that these seemingly useless pictures stimulate creative thinking. The crazier and more pointless they are, the better. Participants in the experiment who drew circles and ovals came up with more original ideas than those who drew squares and broken lines.

Look at something that inspires you. For example, you might look at the Apple logo if you associate that brand with creativity and innovation. Researchers selected 300 students who were fans of Steve Jobs and then divided them into two groups. One was shown a tart apple, and the other was shown the IBM logo. The first group showed a higher level of creativity. Perhaps something else, such as a picture of Sherlock Holmes or a picture of Einstein, would be a stimulus for you.

Just take a nap. Or let your brain dream about nothing. Numerous studies show that this is a great way to boost creativity. But there’s one aspect: it will work if you’ve previously really worked on your task.

3. You are feeling depressed or anxious

Feeling unwell is another common cause of procrastination. You can’t be very productive in such a state. Fortunately, scientists have figured out what substances affect mood and how to improve it.

Dopamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for motivation and job satisfaction. The less of it, the lazier you feel. To raise the hormone level, eat some for lunch: yogurt, nuts, omega-3 fats (plentiful in redfish), dark chocolate. You can also do physical activities like running, walking, or yoga.

Serotonin. This substance directly affects your mood. Meditation, a walk in the sun, and chocolate are easy and quick ways to refuel with serotonin while you procrastinate.

Endorphin. This neuropeptide boosts mood and reduces stress. The most procrastinatory way to boost your hormone levels is to sing a song. Even if you sing to yourself, it will cause an almost immediate release of endorphin.

4. You’re entirely burned out

Alexei doesn’t even have time to procrastinate. He has a sea of deadlines, constant calls, correspondence with colleagues, meetings, and dozens of work hours per week. He does not feel anything when he comes home, and the word “productivity” causes nausea – how much more productive…

Perhaps you recognize yourself? Congratulations, you have professional burnout. Healthy procrastination is precisely what will help you recover. It doesn’t take much – a hobby or an extra activity.

Your side hobbies get you closer to your goal just as much as 40+ work hours a week. They help you relax and satisfy your creativity, which inevitably affects the performance of your primary job. Google and Microsoft have long understood this and dedicate some of their billable time to employees’ projects.

Huit Denim gives some tips to help you make your hobbies or side projects worthwhile:

  • Hobbies don’t have to be a key source of income.
  • Don’t set yourself deadlines. Try new things, experiment, and take risks.
  • Your hobby should be something you love. Don’t force yourself into it.

Spreading your mental faculties in several directions will help avoid burnout and teach you to approach problems from different perspectives.

5. You don’t have deadlines

It happens to freelancers or creatives: artists, writers, etc. They tend to procrastinate because of a lack of accountability.

Significant cases have personal meaning, don’t have firm deadlines, are complex, and require constant concentration. What they have in common is that they are big and scary and carry a high failure rate.

Corky advises setting yourself personal deadlines, even if you’re not sure you’ll meet the deadline. It will still keep you moving.

But it may not work. In that case, outside support will be needed. Organize a co-working group; it can be people offline or the same freelancers and creatives on the Web. Hold periodic meetings where you share your plans and accomplishments. It will not only give you a boost of self-discipline but also enrich you with new ideas.

What’s the worst-case scenario? At worst, it will force you to get away from work for some half an hour and socialize with your colleagues.

6. You avoid discomfort

People procrastinate because they tend to avoid things that make them feel uncomfortable.

She advises treating discomfort as a challenge, an outside force that tries to prevent you from achieving your goals. Try to prove to this “enemy” that you are better than he thinks you are.

Focus on the long-term rewards you will get from your activities. Along with that, reward yourself with small gifts for every discomfort you overcome to keep you motivated.


You don’t always have to fight procrastination. Sometimes it’s worth submitting to it, but do it beautifully and profitably:

  • Before you procrastinate, write a plan of action for later.
  • If you don’t know what to do, doodle or look at something inspiring to spark creativity.
  • Shake up your joy hormone system – with the right foods and physical activity.
  • Take up a hobby you love to avoid burnout.
  • Make friends control each other and procrastinate together.
  • Challenge yourself to conquer the fear of discomfort, and in between, reward yourself with lovely little things.

Author Bio: Elissa Smart is an omnipotent demiurge behind PaperHelp’s blog. Driven by seething creativity, she helps students with thorough research and writing requests and finds the energy to share her extensive expertise via blog posts.

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