There’s an old saying that goes, “The best ideas are often the last ideas.” And while that may not always be true, there’s certainly a lot of truth to it. Why is it that our best ideas often come at the end of a brainstorming session? The answer lies in a phenomenon known as “productive procrastination.”
In fact, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually some benefits to procrastination.
Productive procrastination is the tendency to do our best work not when we’re feeling fresh and well-rested, but when we’re feeling under pressure and close to a deadline. When we’re up against a deadline, we’re more likely to take risks and think outside the box because we don’t have time to overthink things. We just have to go with our gut instinct and hope for the best. And more often than not, it works out.
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The downside of productive procrastination is that it’s not always possible to wait until the last minute to get things done. If you’re working on a project that requires input from other people, or if you’re working on something that has a hard deadline, then you can’t afford to wait until the last minute. In those cases, it’s important to find ways to increase your creativity so that you can come up with great ideas even when you’re not under pressure.
Here’s why your best ideas are often your last ideas.
You’ve had time to think about it.
When you first come up with an idea, it’s usually in the shower, or right before bed. But for some reason, those are the times when our best ideas seem to come to us. Why is that? It’s because we’ve had time to think about it. We’ve had time to let the idea percolate and grow in our minds. And as a result, the idea is usually better than if we had just come up with it on the spot.
It Gives Your Brain a Rest
When you’re constantly working on projects and meeting deadlines, it can be easy to burn out. And when you’re burnt out, you’re not going to be as productive as you could be. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is take a break—even if that break means indulging in a little bit of procrastination. By giving your brain a chance to rest, you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever it is you need to get done.
By taking breaks and indulging in a little bit of procrastination from time to time, you can actually increase your productivity levels and become more creative overall. So go ahead—take some time for yourself and see how much better you feel (and work!) as a result.
You’re less afraid of failure.
The longer you wait to act on an idea, the less afraid you are of failing. That’s because you’ve had time to think about it, and you know that even if the idea doesn’t work out, you’ll still be OK. You’ll still have your job, your family, your friends. So you’re less likely to let the fear of failure stop you from acting on your best ideas.
You’re more confident in your ability to execute.
The longer you wait to act on an idea, the more confident you become in your ability to execute it. That’s because you’ve had time to think about it, and you know that you can do it. You know that you have the skills and the knowledge to make it happen. So you’re more likely to take action on your best ideas when you’re confident in your ability to execute them.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with good ideas, try productive procrastination. It might just be the key to unlocking your creativity. And if all else fails, take a break and come back to the problem later with fresh eyes. Chances are, you’ll be surprised by how quickly the solution comes to you.