Pros of Procrastination or Just a Pro at Procrastinating?

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Your teacher assigns a paper, an analysis of The Beautiful and the Damned, it’s not due for two weeks. With that in mind the chances are high you consciously make the decision to completely avoid even starting until at least three nights before the paper is due, or in my case the night before it’s due, or in this case weeks after it was due. It’s not new for any of us, sometimes there are things that are just a higher priority and other times we just don’t care. Humans will always have more things to do than we can possibly finish, so delaying a few is inevitable. Teenagers or young adults are possibly the most common victim of procrastination, but adults are often found in the same boat as younger society.  It doesn’t discriminate with the ages. It’s easy to argue that procrastination is the cause of failure, closing the doors of opportunities left and right. But procrastination or sometimes referred to as ‘manage delay’ has been proven to be rather beneficial.


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Short Term Pros

There are some obvious short term pros to procrastinating, if there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a problem because no one would even bother pushing things off. Temporarily avoiding a stressful task and getting to do something enjoyable instead of the unpleasant thing you are avoiding are typically the obvious benefits to procrastination. Short term happiness. Short time happiness is better than a long time of unpleasant hours spent on work you didn’t want to do.



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Best Under Pressure

According to Pamela Weigrartz, who has a Ph.D. in psychology and is the author ” Can Procrastination Ever Be a Good Thing?” and several other books focused around stress and anxiety, there are two types of procrastinators: active and passive. Active procrastinators deliberately delay tasks because they feel they work better under pressure and enjoy the hype of approaching due dates. Unlike active, Passive procrastinators are not in control of their procrastination habits and often feel loads of stress and anxiety. For active procrastinators, which I consider myself and many others to be, the act of putting something off actually makes them feel more in control of their time and experience lower stress levels and higher self-efficiency. In other words, for active procrastinators, their best work is going to be a result of procrastinating. Procrastination proves to be very beneficial for them. Passive procrastinators  may not benefit the same way as active do, but they do learn the valuable lesson of knowing they do not work well under pressure.  Either way, there is a benefit


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Time Management

Procrastinating limits the amount of time one has to do something, which conveniently makes procrastinators extremely time efficient. When one is in the habit of waiting to the last possible moment to finish something, they become really good at finishing assignments in very short amounts of time.  Not only that, but they begin to draw lines between what needs to get done and what they should get done. They develop priority making skills.  concentration-16032_960_720

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Frank Partnoy, a professor at University of San Diego said in an interview that “Procrastination is just a universal state of being for humans. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do.” According to Partnoy, pushing off tasks is inevitable. We are naturally going to push off the tasks least appealing. This isn’t a bad thing, we spend our time doing something we enjoy, something that brings happiness to our life, and spend the absolute minimal time doing the not desired task. Being used to not always finishing all tasks in ones teenage years will become beneficial when one becomes busier later in life. They will be accustomed to not finishing things and not be as hard on themselves if things aren’t always finished which leads to lower stress levels.



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Finding Interests

Most importantly however, time spent procrastinating is often time spent exploring a students true interests. Interests that are likely much more valuable in their life than any assignment or midterm paper.  Time students spend procrastinating is also often time used to socialize, developing social skills and friendships that are essential for functioning in todays society. Time spent procrastinating could easily be time spent developing revolutionary art forms, practicing to become the next top athlete, and learning about world issues. Not time I would consider a waste.


Who’s to say that Michael would have won all 22 Olympic gold metals if he didn’t procrastinate on his English papers? or Pablo Picasso would have been such a well known artist if he would’ve finished all his math assignments?

Procrastination has its benefits.


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