Relax, It Will Come: How Procrastination Can Make You More Productive

Take it from Al.If you work in marketing and PR, chances are your mind is constantly running at 100 miles per hour as tasks fly at you from all directions. This environment, with its mile long to-do lists, may seem like a terrible fit for a procrastinator, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, studies have shown that procrastination can make you more productive in the long run. If you can do it right, procrastination can basically become a structured way of multi-tasking.

Are you just plain bored? Even people who love their jobs get bored at times. That’s okay! This is a great opportunity for you to practice our mantra of “always be learning.” Scan industry news for the latest insights. Take an online training class. Try to find a work-around for a tricky problem or process that’s been on your mind. You’re not checking things off your to-do list, so technically, you’re procrastinating. But you’re also being productive and improving yourself for the long run.

Daunting task list? A seemingly endless task list can easily become an overwhelming burden. Don’t let it! Break it down and separate your tasks by how long they’ll take. It’s much easier to do small things we are sure we can do (like scheduling meetings) than it is to do large things we are not certain of (like finding insights from a massive data sheet).

If you’re ideas just aren’t flowing on the big tasks, procrastinate! Walk away from it and complete some smaller, less time-consuming tasks on your list. Give yourself a few minutes, or even an hour, to refresh and regroup. By walking away from the problem and thinking about something else, you put your mind onto a different track. But you haven’t abandoned the large daunting task completely because, whether you realize it or not, your subconscious mind is still toiling away. Taking a break may be just the thing you need to spark an idea, which can happen when you least expect it. Or, at the very least, you will have a better outlook when you get back to the problem at hand.

To illustrate this point, take an example from Alfred Hitchcock.

When Mr. Hitchcock was working on some of the most renowned movies in Hollywood history, he would inevitably encounter writing blocks. A co-writer of his once said that when Hitchcock hit that dreaded wall, he would suddenly stop and start telling a story that had absolutely nothing to do with what he was writing, frustrating the other writers working with him to no end. When his co-writers expressed their frustration to him, he replied:

“We’re pressing, we’re working too hard. Relax, it will come.”

See? Whether it’s Hollywood or marketing, procrastination can be productive.

Tori Sabourin
Marketing Analyst

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