Research

Procrastination can be productive – if it’s the positive sort

25 Apr 2019 By Maggie Baska

According to a new white paper, scheduling tasks to do in advance helps keep productivity levels high

Businesses have been trying to help employees increase their personal efficiency for years. But the more tools employers use, the less productive individuals may become, a new white paper suggests. 

Recruitment agency Forward Role found that procrastination could be the answer to, rather than the cause of, problems with business productivity. 

It spoke with industry experts about how they use “positive” procrastination, scheduling tasks to carry out at a later date rather than dealing with them in sequence, to keep productivity levels up. 

Positive procrastinators book time in their calendar to perform tasks closer to their deadline while focusing on smaller but more urgent tasks in the present, said the study. 

Karin Peeters, coach and psychotherapist at Inner Pilgrim, explained that pushing tasks closer to their deadline puts pressure on employees to help get the work done without dragging it out. But starting a project straight away could close people off from more effective solutions.

“When we resist the urge to take immediate action, we open ourselves up to receive new and fresh ideas,” Peeters said. 

“Let things unfold without controlling the outcome. Go for a walk, take a nap. In this space of positive procrastination, new ideas will bubble up from deep within.”

Peeters warned this would not work with big projects. She suggested breaking down large tasks into smaller ones, each with its own hard deadline, to leverage time effectively.

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