Can we take advantage of productive procrastination?

I’m so confused
first hearing this term be like

Have you ever felt that you are so productive but at the end of the day, you get nothing important done? That is what we call productive procrastination.

What exactly is “productive procrastination”

That means you consciously do something else to keep yourself busy to avoid the most urgent and important work. In this case, the procrastinators tend to do all the secondary tasks before the main task. The process of doing all the secondary tasks may help them not to feel bad about procrastinating the main task much.

Yesterday, I listed writing this article on my to-do list then at the end of the day, my room was clean, my laundry had been done, everything had been done, just I hadn’t started my article :(

me, 2:59 am with the deadline at 3 am

The benefit of productive procrastination.

There is “productive” in “productive procrastination” so there are also some benefits doing that:

  • First, productive procrastination is better than unproductive procrastination when you do nothing. Of course, doing something is always better than doing nothing. You can get more things done and you don’t feel too bad as the way unproductive manner makes you feel.
  • Secondly, productive procrastination makes you do the task that you may normally avoid. For example, usually, I would avoid writing like right now I am. However, today I have a more important and harder than writing: go outside and buy some goods (I’m a nerd so…), I swear that I will go out after finishing writing.
a vampire
scare of the sun. Vampire? No! I am a nerd. (source: Unsplash)

Detriments of productive procrastination.

  • Productive procrastination inherits lots of harm from procrastination in general such as stress,… If you procrastinate too much with something, it will most likely start to stress you out and cause anxiety, especially when other people or things are involved, and all of this can lead to poor health outcomes. And also, it all leads to lower self-esteem.
  • And unfortunately, the productive procrastinator is potentially back to being just a procrastinator. When you procrastinate you just want to procrastinate, again and again, it’s like a snowball rolls down from the top of a mountain, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until we become so so so so lazy.
  • Also, when we procrastinate on the main task, WE PROCRASTINATE THE MAIN TASK. You may never get that single important task done or else it might take so long for you to start it. The fact that these tasks always play an important role in your life!
  • Last but not least, you are less likely to solve the procrastination. Because this kind of procrastination gives you the feel of “get something done”, you feel the progress. You feel like you are doing something, and it usually gives you the visible result from finishing secondary tasks that satisfied and persuade yourself “you are doing something”.

Can you benefit from it?

Yes, yes you can!

yes, we can
yes, but no, we should not. (source: Unsplash)

You may structure your tasks to get things done. For example, a to-do with the urgent-but-not-so-important task to be the main task then put something you want to get done.

However, it is not recommended to do that. Instead, we should quit procrastination. However, when you couldn’t quit it yet, you can use the following tips:

  • Make sure to get things done on time. You may want to have some plan to do it on time or someone to remind you about the task.
  • Do the more meaningful tasks. You should make a to-do list that has meaningful tasks instead of meaningless tasks, ask yourself “how can this help me” so that you can postpone the main task but make your time worth it, other it is just a waste of time.


Know our body and mind well. Distinguish when we are procrastinating or we are just tired. And if you are a productive procrastinator, and you want to take advantage of it, I recommend you to overcome your procrastination instead, that is when real productivity kicks in.

Thank you.



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