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Procrastination – How to weapon use the world’s most feared attitude

With great procrastination comes productivity

Let’s be frank. Each and every one of us, at one point or another in our lives, have been guilty of procrastinating – to some degree.

And for those of you in the communications sector, be it PR or social media management, you know how dangerous it can get – the consequences and the impacts that linger on.

While procrastinators flounder in pressure-cooker environments, where time is an unheard commodity when deadlines approach and become more reasonable the scales tip in the favor of the ever-procrastinating monkey in your head.

If you’re a fellow procrastinator, however, we would like to let you in on our little secret: procrastinating, when done right, is a weapon like no other.

Procrastination, from a biological perspective, is a defense mechanism that your brain uses when it’s overburdened with work – and in the communications field that just so happens to be… well, all the time.

Akin to working out at the gym, if you overload a particular muscle group, not only will it be incredibly painful, it will in fact be detrimental to your progress.

So, what do you do when you’ve overworked a muscle at the gym? You swap it up with the next muscle group!

Let’s say you have a huge proposal coming up for a strategy for an incredibly lucrative client that your communications agency just landed. The client is extremely nit-picky and your PR team is crawling up and down the walls about every tiny detail in your would-be deck.

You’ve been sitting there for hours – and yet you’re stuck in the same thought bubble, not able to think ‘outside the box’, as you were told.

Guess what now? You need to procrastinate.

Get off the task, stretch your legs for a couple of minutes – or, better yet, simply switch the task altogether for an hour or two.

Yes, even if the deadline is incredibly tight.

When one finds themselves at a dead-end driving, instead of ramming your car against the wall in hopes that you’ll get through, it’s sometimes more reasonable to take a longer route to get to the other side. Isn’t it?

In the end, had you gone ahead with the former, neither you nor the wall would have a very good time.

When in trouble, just remember – the ABMF rule: Always. Be. Moving. Forward.

The Benefits of Procrastination

Here are a couple of things that happen when you successfully procrastinate a task:

A) Creativity goes through the roof: In social media and public relations, creativity is your bread and butter and is often the key driver of performance. When procrastinating, even in a negative way, fight-or-flight kicks in and your mind is able to be significantly more flexible in order to avoid negative outcomes of a late deadline. Yes, indeed we are saying that sometimes being behind on tasks can actually speed them up. Quite oxymoronic, isn’t it?

B) Efficiency over-performs: A saying that pairs like fine wine to aged cheese in the PR and social media space – it’s a marathon, not a race. When taking into account just how much load you go through during your day, it’s of utmost importance to ensure that you’re not frying your inner circuits before a task is accomplished. Taking regular breaks not only helps lower stress but can, in fact, be key to a prolonged, efficient working day.

C) Helps you analyze tasks accurately: As a professional procrastinator, you learn to dissect even the most menial tasks into time segments. Through this unique skill, good delayers are able to pinpoint just how long a task requires, and how much time they can procrastinate. This, while at first sounding counterproductive, in fact, allows good procrastinators to identify priorities within a list of deliverables and time themselves accordingly.

In short being a procrastinator is awesome – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Whether it’s due to an overload of social media posts that need prepping, or a PR strategy exercise for that one nail-biting client, when done right it is an incredible weapon against the unforgiving world in a communications agency.

Andrey Demiyanov is Business Development & Market Research Executive at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |