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About Everything Wiki » Productivity » 5 Situations when Putting Things Off Is Useful

5 Situations when Putting Things Off Is Useful

19 Jan 2024, 12:01, parser
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Procrastination has nothing to do with laziness. On the contrary, by postponing some tasks, you get the opportunity to think about them better, evaluate different approaches to implementation and discuss ideas with colleagues. As a result, you do your job better and meet deadlines.

So why fight procrastination in those moments when you can relax and use it to your advantage? Let's look at five situations when postponing a case for later is the right decision.

1. When you were assigned a complex project

Monday morning. You have been assigned to a project that needs to be shown to the client on Friday. The non-procrastinator immediately gets down to business, and by Wednesday he has everything ready. But inspiration always comes when you least expect it. If you approach the tasks the same way, it means that you are missing two days, during which an interesting idea may appear.

Frank Partnoy
Professor of Law and Finance, writer.

Very often, the best solution or innovative idea comes at an unexpected time: when we are sleeping, showering or talking to someone. The main thing is to determine how long you can wait to get everything done, and drag out the time until that moment.

The benefits of waiting for inspiration are confirmed by research. Adam Grant, an American psychologist and professor at the Wharton School of Business, told in a column for the New York Times A. Grant. Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate / The New York Times about an experiment in which participants were asked to come up with new business ideas. The first group began brainstorming immediately, and the members of the second, before starting work, played solitaire or played minesweeper for five minutes. The ideas of procrastinators were rated as more creative: they scored 28% more points than the ideas of non-procrastinators.

Plus, it is not uncommon for a client to change the direction of work a few days after you have received instructions. Therefore, it is better to wait a little before starting, until you have a clear idea of what the client needs from you.

Every time you start acting too early, and then the concept changes, the company loses money, and you lose your time. Therefore, first think carefully about whether it is necessary to start working right now.

2. When you are preparing for a presentation or report

To make the presentation seem fresh, don't be afraid to change it at the last minute. Then the content of the report will be relevant at a specific moment for a specific audience. The main thing is to remember the main points and turning points of the speech.

The speaker must understand what the audience wants from him, which means putting all the elements of the presentation together at the last moment.

It is best to prepare a presentation the night before the performance, and then get a good night's sleep: after sleeping with the idea, you will better remember the important points and sort everything out in your head.

3. If you decide whether to accept a candidate for a job

Hiring a new person is a decision that has long—term consequences for the company. Therefore, this task should not be approached superficially, only to quickly delete it from the list of tasks.

By procrastinating, you replenish your energy reserves, refresh your head and can make a more informed decision.

Decision-making, like other work tasks, requires strength, and overloading eventually leads to fatigue. The more important decisions you have to make, the less likely it is that each of them will be balanced.

Your judgment about the candidate will be more objective if you review the resume and notes that you made for yourself during the interview a little later. For example, in a week, when you are full of energy.

4. When are you going to spend a large amount

It doesn't matter if you are planning to buy an apartment or just a new TV, in both cases it makes sense to wait.

If you do not need to make a spending decision immediately, it is better not to do so. New information or a better offer may appear at any time. You can spend a much smaller amount on a similar purchase.

Do not make emotional, impulsive purchases. Slow down a bit and think about it carefully.

The more time you spend thinking about it, the more effective the decision you make in the end. Study participants T. Teichert, V. P. Ferrera, J. Grinband. Humans Optimize Decision-Making by Delaying Decision Onset / PLoS ONE , conducted at Columbia University, had to guess the direction of movement of dots on a computer screen. Even milliseconds of additional waiting and thinking added accuracy to the answers. For example, a pause of 50 milliseconds before making a decision increased the accuracy of responses by 75%.

5. When emails accumulate in an email

Every time you take a few minutes off to read an email, you lose your work ethic and become less productive. Of course, you can't always ignore the flow of work emails. But at least you can ignore them until you sort out other, more important things.

The best strategy is to view the names of the senders. So you probably won't miss anything important from your superiors. Leave all other emails unread and deal with them 45 minutes before the end of the working day. Many incoming questions may well be resolved without your participation, and you, in turn, can devote this time to more meaningful things.

In addition, procrastination will help you respond to emails less emotionally. Responding immediately, you can easily succumb to negative emotions — anger, excitement — and write something that you will regret later. Therefore, it is better to give yourself time to digest the new information. A few extra hours, or maybe even days, will help you come up with a more reasoned and balanced answer.

The less you check your email in a day, the more comfortable you feel psychologically. Scientists from the University of British Columbia have discovered Stop Checking Email So Often / The New York Times that by checking email less often, people get rid of stress and become more productive.

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